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Introduced in 2021 when that year's West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta was canceled, the artistic contest is returning.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Pumpkins decorated for the Shrunken Regatta last year are displayed at the Tualatin Public Library.The last time crowds gathered around the Tualatin Lake at the Commons to enjoy the spectacle of costumed characters furiously paddling giant pumpkins, it was October 2019.

The West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta — by far Tualatin's biggest annual event, drawing tourists from across the United States, Canada and even overseas — was canceled in 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

While the Giant Pumpkin Regatta is slated to return next month, a junior offshoot is sticking around, too.

Last year, the Tualatin Public Library held a Shrunken Regatta — a miniature pumpkin decorating contest — to help make up for the cancellation of Tualatin's most popular festival.

The little contest was a big hit. Now, it's coming back for 2022.

Participants are invited to pick up a take-home kit on Saturday, Sept. 24, from the Tualatin Library. That kit contains a pumpkin, a paint set, and information on how to enter the citywide contest.

Once pumpkins are decorated — "however you wish," organizers say — they can be brought back to the library, which will exhibit them as part of a display celebrating the tradition of the Pumpkin Regatta.

Librarians will select their three favorite pumpkins once the contest wraps up Oct. 14. Winning artists will each receive a $25 Visa gift card.

No registration is required to enter the Shrunken Regatta. Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of one per family.PMG FILE PHOTO - Each year, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta draws thousands of spectators to the Tualatin Lake at the Commons. The festival returns in October after being canceled in 2020 and 2021.

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