The idea of floating pumpkins came to David in a dream while
camping in Brown County Indiana during Halloween in 1984. The
first time he actually floated some was in 1993 down the Huron
River in Ann Arbor and the second was with his wife and friends in
'94. As they watched them float around the bend from the cottage,
someone suggested they see if the pumpkins would make it to the Sears
Here are pictures of the Pumpkin Float 1999:
Laurenn prepares her pumpkin the day before. Seeds are roasted...
|The Pumpeteers arrive and carve their pumpkins. A
good time to catch up with old friends and down some good food
|Stuart, Marcy and Shira hard at work. River pumpkins
are carved in a different fashion from their standard landlubber
variety. In order to float properly, the top must be carved thin
and bottoms thick, so that when they are placed in the river
they do not capsize...
|David and his sons, Nat and Cy. Pumpkin carving is a great time for both kids and adults...
The pumpkins are lit and admired before launch...
|Launching pumpkins takes a certain amount of
logistical effort. The lit orbs are handed down the steps of the
bank in fire bucket brigade fashion...
|Dave dons his waders and steps out into the
Muskegan River with his launching stick. This is tricky work; a
badly launched pumpkin will swamp, it's candle extinguished amid
cries of disappointment...
|When the last of the pumpkins have rounded the
bend in the river, it's time to pile into the cars and head for
Sears Bridge, where we eagerly wait for the first pumpkin to
round the bend in the river. A surprising amount of pumpkins
usually make it this far. Typically, out of twenty pumpkins, you
can expect more than fifteen to make it to the bridge.
We're hoping to expand the practice by getting other riverfolk to start launching illuminated pumpkins at the same time.
See you at the next Pumpkin Float!