Join us for the race, October 29, 2022 Mill St. Underpass Downtown Carbondale, IL

The Great Carbondale
Pumpkin Race
Start your engines!
Where: Mill St. Underpass
Downtown Carbondale, IL
When: October 29, 2022
Join the Costume Parade!


PRE-REGISTER here and get rewarded with a warm-up run down the track to test and tune your pumpkin racer for a better shot at the grand prize! 


CHILDREN, INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES CAN PARTICIPATE FOR FREE! Win cash prizes and the ultimate bragging rights!


PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS AND SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY. With different sponsorship packages, you can pick the one that best fits your goals and budget!


The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race is a chance to have fun and raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations by designing, building, and racing your very own Pumpkin Racer! The event is free, with the winner of the free races cashing in on $100 grand prize.

This year our featured race is The Mayer Branding Grand Prix. The grand prix race has a $10 entry fee with a $250 grand prize, but most people just race for the fun of it. This year’s event features Diane Daugherty as our honorary judge with our very own Olympian, Deanna Price, wielding the Mallet-O-Justice as the rule enforcer and pumpkin smasher. We also welcome Dave Davis from Channel 3 as our master of ceremony. 

Make sure your pumpkin is race ready! Build the fastest racer you can, or go nuts with the most original design you can think of! Cheaters never prosper, but in this case, watching your cheater pumpkin racer being smashed to smithereens by the Mallet-O-Justice is a pretty rewarding sight and lots of fun for everyone.


The Science Center and CCA will conduct workshops for help building your pumpkin racer. Visit us on Facebook for details!

View our how-to page for a full tutorial on how to build your very own pumpkin racer.

No, you may not attach your pumpkin to a chassis of any kind (office chair, skateboard, stroller, Tonka truck, etc…) and you may not use caster wheels. Your pumpkin racer would be considered a cheater and will be smashed to smithereens by our very own Olympian, Deanna Price. However we do encourage you to have fun…and building a cheater for public destruction could be part of the excitement for the event. See official rules.

The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race and the Costume Parade are free, family-friendly events. You need to register for both events. Registration is onsite at the Mill Street Underpass and begins at 1pm with the first race commencing at 2pm. The winner of the free main event will win $100. We will also have a featured race, the Mayer Branding Grand Prix, which has $10 entry fee with a grand prize of $250.

Yes, costumes are encouraged, after all it is Halloween. There is even a costume parade hosted by Carbondale Community Arts to show off your spooktacular threads

Unfortunately, we do not have race kits available to purchase, however, we have a complete instruction manual with a list of the equipment you’ll need to build your pumpkin racer.

Don't Forget Your Costume!

The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race is a part of the Carbondale Halloween festival which is full of fun, family events to safely celebrate Halloween. Our event helps to raise funds for local non-profit organizations. Not only can you get your wheels spinning with pumpkin racers, but the children can enjoy arts and crafts activities and a free costume parade so you get a little extra wear out of your Halloween costume this year. 

Our 2022 Beneficiaries

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater

Remember, cheater pumpkins never win (see the Official Rules), but sometimes naughty can be nice. We encourage you to have fun and build a racer with the possibility of an Olympian smashing it with the Cheater-Crushing Mallet-O-Justice!