Manhattan Beach Boulevard came alive with superheroes, cartoon characters and — for gourds’ sake — plenty of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors on Sunday afternoon the city’s 29th annual Pumpkin Race.
Amped-up pumpkins were decked out as R2D2, Pikachu, Spider-Man, Captain America toward the Pier as 1,500 people cheered, in the event sponsored each year by the Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department.
Pumpkins were customized by folks from all over the community, including members of the Manhattan Beach City Council, firefighters and police officers.
“It was exciting to win, because my pumpkin usually does a hard right or hard left right into a wall,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Montgomery, whose racer — adorned with “Texas Longhorns” on one side and “I love MB” on the other — finished first among the council members.
“Nowhere else can you come race a pumpkin with a scenic oceanfront in the background,” said Michael Hudak, a recreation department supervisor. “Everything about this screams Manhattan Beach.”
“We love this event,” said Jeremy Desch of Redondo Beach. Inspired by “The Wizard of Oz,” he and wife his wife Veronica created “El Hombre de hojalata” — The Tin Man in Spanish — for 2-year-old daughter Isabella.
Goose Faynsod, 12, from Los Angeles, pumped his fist into the air when his pumpkin crossed the finish line in first place, just ahead of a few of his friends.
“It feels great to win,” he said. “The day is a lot of chaos, but I had a lot of fun.”