Fall is here in Maine, easily the best time of year. This means shorter days, cooler temperatures, football weekends, and a lot of winter prep.

It also means it's time for fairs and festivals to take over the spotlight. These events bring Mainers and tourists together to enjoy the state's wonderful agriculture, local artisans, delicious fair food, exciting games, and more.

One of those major festivals has recently enjoyed national attention after being included on a very prestigious list.

The iconic magazine Travel + Leisure decided to take a closer look at America's love affair with festivals, specifically ones held in the fall. The cooler months tend to be loaded with festivals due to harvest season coinciding with the ideal temperatures.

The travel site put together a list of the best fall festival in every state. Maine's representative was a superb choice by Travel + Leisure. It's a festival that represents the season very well. The selection was Damariscotta's Pumpkinfest and Regatta.

If you have never been to the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, then you don't know what you have been missing. It's one of Maine's premier events every year. The entire town gets in on the fun. For starters, there's giant pumpkins decorated all over the downtown village. It also includes a pie eating contest, a heaviest pumpkin challenge, homemade goodies, pumpkin chunkin', live music, pumpkin car derby, pumpkin parade, and the most insane regatta you will ever see.

Why is the regatta so wild? Because the boats are made out of pumpkins, of course. These monster pumpkins are carved out and used to race down the river. And yes, some even throw outboard motors on their pumpkin boats. Is there anything more Maine than that?

This year's Pumpkinfest and Regatta will be held from September 30 through October 9. The full schedule is up now on the festival's website.

I can't recommend this festival enough. It's a wonderful celebration of all things Maine and the season's harvest. Plus, who doesn't want to watch lunatics race down the river in giant pumpkins?

And if someone is looking for a competitor, you just let me know. I would love to race in a giant pumpkin down a river. Honestly, I was born for it.

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