Destinations Magazine

5 Reasons to Visit the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival in Germany

By Expatgermany @Laurel_Robbins

pumpkin festival
The world’s largest pumpkin festival is home to some 400,000 pumpkins and is held each year in Ludwigsburg, Germany, located just 17km north of Stuttgart.   The first time I went was three years ago, albeit reluctantly.  J.P. (my German husband) dragged me and said it would be fun.  Having never been to a pumpkin festival and not really having a desire to go, I thought it sounded cheesy and something just for kids.  I’ve since changed my mind and have been each year ever since.  I suspect I’m not the only Pumpkin Festival doubter out there, so here are 5 reasons why I think it’s worth visiting the world’s largest pumpkin festival:

Pumpkin Art
Each year the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival has a theme.  Last year the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival’s theme was under the sea, featuring dolphins and blue whales made out entirely of pumpkins which I really enjoyed.  I was equally thrilled this year to learn that the theme was larger than life dinosaurs made out of pumpkins:

pumpkin festival ludwigsburg

pumpkin festival ludwigsburg
pumpkin festival ludwigsburg

pumpkin festival ludwigsburg

Me posing with the mama and baby dino at the Ludwgsburg Pumpkin Festival.

Kids loved seeing the dinosaur pumpkins, but so do kids at heart, at least I did.

Pumpkin Shopping
Not surprisingly the world’s largest pumpkin festival is an excellent place to buy a pumpkin with pumpkins from all over the world, many of which I’ve never heard of.  In addition to pumpkins, anything pumpkin is also available, including pumpkin pasta and my personal favorite pumpkin sparking wine, to which I will be devoting an entire post to later this week as it’s that good!:

pumpkin festival pumpkin market

Last year I bought 6 pumpkins and we ate pumpkin something or another for almost 2 months straight.

pumpkin festival pumpkin pasta

I'm dying to try pumpkin pasta, but as I have a gluten allergy, made some delicious pumpkin risotto instead.

pumpkin festival pumpkin sekt

I had never heard of pumpkin sparkling wine before last year and tried it out of curiosity with low expectations. Since trying it I've never left with less than 2 bottles and that's with J.P. constraining me.

Pumpkin Food
In keeping with the pumpkin food theme you can also eat an assorted variety of pumpkin goodies so go hunry.  My favorite is the pumpkin soup, which is consistently the best I’ve ever tasted.  J.P. tried the Pumpkin Rösti (fried grated potato) which had an interesting flavor, although I wouldn’t have wanted to eat a whole plate of it.  The Pumpkin Maultaschen (the local take on ravioli) looked amazing.

pumpkin festival pumpkin menu

The pumpkin maultaschen (pictured at the bottom) looked heavenly, unfortunately I'm allergic to gluten so didn't try it.

See Pumpkins from All Over the World
What would the world’s largest pumpkin festival be without a pumpkin judging competition?  The pumpkin judging doesn’t happen until October but these two unique pumpkins get my vote:

pumpkin festival strange pumpkins

This textured bump covered pumpkin was from the United States.

pumpkin festival strange pumpkins

This odd shaped pumpkin came from France.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival Setting
The world’s largest pumpkin festival is nestled in behind Ludwigsburg Palace, one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe.   Just walking through the palace gardens and grounds is worthwhile  in itself, but seeing the contrast of a palace and pumpkins is not something you see everyday.  German tours and English tours are also available of the palace itself.

pumkin festival ludwigsburg castle

The impressive Ludwigsburg Palace is the setting for the pumpkin festival.

pumpkin festival palace and pumpkins

A palace and pumpkins, not something you see everyday, unless you live in Ludwigsburg.

Would you include the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival on your Germany tour? What’s your experience with pumpkin festivals?

The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival runs from Sept 9 to Nov 6, 2011.  More information can be found at the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival (available only in German).


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