Updated 16 October 2015
About an hour away from the Tri-Border area is the small town of Kasterlee. Most people visit the nearby attraction of Bobbejaanland, but during the month of October, pumpkins become the center of attention. This article from Flanders Today does a good job of summing up all of the festivities, but the one that is the most unique is the highly anticipated Pumpkin Regatta. Thanks to HereatGK contributor, Susu, for letting us know about this event. We were able to visit the event and enjoy the spectacle in 2014.
The pumpkin boat races were fun to watch. Teams of four take turns kayaking the hollowed out pumpkins around a gate in the middle of the pond. Most teams dress up in silly costumes for additional fun. There are many heats, including mixed, women only and kids only races, so no matter what time you arrive at the event, you’ll be sure to see at least a few races. If you get hungry or thirsty, there is food on sight, including homemade pumpkin soup and pumpkin beer. For the kids, there is a large playground along with additional games to play involving some of the smaller gourds. I saw ring toss, bowling and some sort of croquet among others. You could also pay a small fee to carve your own pumpkin to take home with you.
If you’re interested in participating in the races next year, you can register online. This year there was a team that came all the way from Spain specifically for this event and the commentators were surprised and thrilled. I’m sure they would be happy to welcome a few from our area as well.
Ark Van Noë
Arkstraat 6, Lichtaart
GPS : 51.210147 , 4.938325