It’s a Smash

26 years of Manhattan Beach’s Pumpkin Race


On Halloween Eve in 1990, a dozen friends gathered to race handcrafted Pumpkin Racers in the world’s first Pumpkin Race in Manhattan Beach. Everyone agreed it was a hit, and a new tradition was born.

In 2007 the annual block party became a community event sponsored by the city of Manhattan Beach. It received awards of excellence from the National Recreation and Park Association and the California Park & Recreation Society.

Smashing Success, LLC founded the annual attraction to help create a better future for adults living with autism and other neurodiversities. These workers assemble products for Pumpkin Race hosts, attendees and fundraisers, in partnership with public and private nonprofit transition programs across the country.

The Pumpkin Race was featured among the Top 5 Halloween traditions in America by the Travel Channel. It has grown organically to become a cherished annual tradition for tens of thousands in more than 100 communities across America.

The 26th annual Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race to Make Autism Work, presented by LAcarGUY, will take place on October 23 at noon at the Manhattan Pier. A Classic Pumpkin Racer must be made with one carved pumpkin (up to 15 inches wide), two independent axles running through the pumpkin and four wheels attached. Don’t be tempted to be a Cheater Pumpkin. Use the honor system and obey the spirit of these rules. Race officials have a keen eye, and the mallet-o-justice is ready to bring a Cheater Pumpkin down.