After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Zucchini Festival returned Saturday to the Homer Farmers Market with much aplomb.
About a dozen kids participated in the zucchini car races set up under the large tent inside the market, between Freewheelin’ Cakes and Wilson’s Proper Edge. Racers were given supplies and a place to build and customize their cars to their hearts’ content, with the one requirement that a zucchini be attached to the car in some way.
Market volunteer Susan Miller, who has been involved with putting on the Zucchini Festival for over 10 years, said she always enjoys seeing how creative participating kids are when building their cars.
Before the start of the race, reigning Zucchini Queenie Luba Dorvall of Luba’s Garden led a parade around the market, festival volunteers and zucchini racers trailing behind her. At Will Grow Farm’s booth, Dorvall passed on the crown to this year’s queen, Jen Castellani.
“I’m pleased with all my subjects,” Castellani said. “I’m excited to make zucchini cake for everyone.”
Castellani returned the paraders to the tent, where festival volunteer emcee Joey Lothian fired up the gathering crowd for the zucchini races.
“Our competitors are here to ‘squash’ the competition,” he joked.
Racers competed two at a time, placing their cars at the top of a two-lane sloped track and letting go at the mark given by Lothian to see which zucchini made it to the bottom first. Race “medics” Liam James from Homer Hilltop Farm and Becky James carried toppled zucchini cars back to the table with a mini stretcher between them.
All participating racers won a $10 Homer Farmers Market gift certificate.