Roll a Pumpkin Through the Middle of Carmel

Cheer on tumbling gourds as they travel down iconic Ocean Avenue in the seaside village.

SEARCH FOR "CARMEL PUMPKIN ROLL"... and you're going to see a lot of interesting and appetizing results pop up online. You'll probably come across several recipes for pastries involving, yes, pumpkin, and a drizzle or dollop of caramel, too. And while a caramel pumpkin roll would likely hit the spot at most any time of day, when it is October, and we're talking about Carmel-by-the-Sea, as in the village, there are no caramel-based recipes to be found. Rather, the Carmel Pumpkin Roll is one of California's quirkiest autumn spectacles, and a must-see for people devoted to the beautiful village and anything to do with the gorgeous gourds of fall. For this is what the roll is all about: Can-do competitors will attempt to roll pumpkins down Ocean Avenue, the famously cottage-y, shop-lined, restaurant-yummy thoroughfare in the heart of Carmel. Now...

IF YOU KNOW CARMEL WELL, you know that Ocean Avenue takes a definite slope down toward the the direction of the Pacific Ocean. And yet? This fact of elevation may or may not assist participants in quickly sending pumpkins rolling along Ocean between Santa Rita and Junipero Streets, or it may. Really, it all depends upon the squash in question and whether the gourd has go (and not too many bumpy features that will prevent a smooth and speedy journey). There are "... hay bales and fencing to keep pumpkins from veering off track," and plenty of pumpkin lovers cheering other pumpkin lovers on at the sweet event. Bonus? When the early-afternoon competition ends, well, you'll be in Carmel on a bright autumn Saturday. 

SO, WHAT'S BETTER? A caramel pumpkin roll or the Carmel Pumpkin Roll? Both are great, but only one is happening on Ocean Avenue, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

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