Ralph Moxcey of Bremen carves a Roman statuette of a cat out of a pumpkin at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest on Main Street as Hannah Boone (background) paints her own pumpkin in this Oct. 9, 2010, file photo.

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The organizers of the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest have canceled the 2020 festival.

The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest involves numerous individual events that culminate with a weekend of festivities in October, including pumpkin-boat races. The festival attracts thousands of visitors to the Twin Villages and beyond.

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The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta Committee “has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic in hopes that we would be able to safely host all the activities that lead up to our annual events in October,” the committee said in a statement Monday. Based on Gov. Janet Mills’ April 28 announcement of a four-stage plan to reopen the state’s economy, the committee “reluctantly made the decision to cancel the 2020 festival.”

“We will miss working with and having fun with everyone this year, including our friends, family, neighbors, volunteers, visitors, business sponsors, non-profit organizations, vendors, and especially our home and professional growers,” the committee said.

The mission of the nonprofit Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, which runs the festival, is to educate the public about the science of growing giant pumpkins and to provide other nonprofits with opportunities to raise funds and awareness.

“As an expression of our hope in the future, and our agricultural mission, we encourage people to grow Giant Pumpkins this year in their gardens,” the committee said.

Free giant pumpkin seedlings will be available for no-contact pickup from May 16-30 at Pinkham’s Plantation on Biscay Road in Damariscotta and at Louis Doe Home Center on Mills Road in Newcastle.

The festival will return in 2021, with major events the weekend of Oct. 9-11.

This story appears through a media partnership with The Lincoln County News.

Watch: See these pumpkin boats race during the 2015 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta

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