Carmel High Jinks: Pumpkin Rolling Contest - NBC Bay Area
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Carmel High Jinks: Pumpkin Rolling Contest

How far can a squash travel along the ground? Find out in the sweet, ocean-close village.

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    Carmel High Jinks: Pumpkin Rolling Contest
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    Watch some beautiful orange orbs go the distance on Ocean Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea on Saturday, Oct. 7.

    LOOK, HONESTLY NOW,  we all know that a pumpkin can sail an impressive distance when launched from a trebuchet or other amazing pumpkin-launching machine. We may have even seen such a launch on a cable program, or in person, if we visited the local university or elementary school during their yearly pumpkin launch fundraiser. But pumpkins don't just move thanks to levers, knobs, and handles; they can roll pretty nicely, too, which should not be a shock to anyone who has seen, felt, or carved a pumpkin. True, sometimes the stem can impede a gourd's ability to go, and if a pumpkin is especially ridge-laden, or bumpily, that, too, can impact its velocity and path. But some pumpkins are pretty darn ball-like in shape, and Carmel-by-the-Sea pauses each year, merrily, to acknowledge the sphere-amazing abilities of pumpkins to roll down a gently sloped street. That street, as is tradition, is Ocean Avenue, and anyone who knows the quaint village will know that Ocean is a main thoroughfare that sees a lot of local action. And that action will be very pumpkin-tastic come...

    SATURDAY, OCT. 7... when the yearly Pumpkin Rolling Contest takes place on Ocean between Santa Rita and Junipero Streets. The early-afternoon competition isn't just about pumpkins and asphalt, though; there are hay bales along the course, too, giving it some real speedway-style cred. It's all pretty larky at heart, and light-of-spirit, and it is one of the centerpiece happenings of Carmel's big birthday month. Oh, as for Carmel's birthday? It shouldn't surprise you that the village was incorporated on Oct. 31, 1916. And Halloween seems a perfect birthday for a town that embraces the arts, whimsy, and community events so heartily, which Carmel so readily does. Exhibit A: It's annual Pumpkin Roll. Is this the year you see what sort of skills you've got in this arena? Go for it.