6 Reasons to Visit the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

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Don’t Miss the Annual Pumpkin Festival (Kürbisausstellung) in Ludwigsburg, Germany

Welcome to Autumn magic in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Picture this: a sprawling garden transformed into a pumpkin wonderland, every nook and cranny bursting with color and creativity. As the world’s largest pumpkin festival, this Ludwigsburg spectacle has become a beloved annual tradition, drawing families and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

Set against the backdrop of the enchanting Blooming Baroque (Blühenden Barock) gardens, near the Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, is an annual celebration featuring over 600 unique pumpkin varieties and a staggering display of over 450,000 pumpkins. Allow me to guide you through six irresistible reasons why this event deserves a place on your must-visit list. Join me as we journey through this renowned festival, a celebration that promises warmth, wonder, and a touch of whimsy.

1. Magnificent Pumpkin Displays

Annually, the festival presents a novel theme, guaranteeing that every return visit offers a fresh spectacle. Here’s a chronological glimpse of their recent themes:

  • 2019: “Fairytales”
  • 2020: “Music”
  • 2021: “Pumpkins Underwater”
  • 2022: “Rainforest/Jungle”

And for those planning a visit this year? Prepare to be captivated by 2023’s sizzling inspiration: “Fire.”

You will see hundreds of thousands of pumpkins transform into interesting creations. I have visited the festival many times. Some of my favorites from the 2019 season included creative takes on dragons, wizards, trolls, unicorns, and even a fallen giant being tied to the ground. Famous characters such as Pikachu, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and Medusa were brought to life. The creativity and meticulous planning behind these displays are truly astounding. A heartfelt shoutout to everyone working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring this event to life.

giant pumpkin man ludwigsburg pumpkin festival 2019

2. Pumpkin-Inspired Eats

Are there any foodies out there? Be sure to bring your appetite. There are plenty of pumpkin-inspired foods and drinks, and if you are lucky some free samples along the way. Delicious pumpkin beers and wines are available. The food menu has plenty to offer ranging from pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin burgers, pumpkin french fries, spaghetti with pumpkin and the list goes on and on. Not a fan of pumpkin? Don’t worry there is plenty of traditional German fare to choose from, as well.

3. Shopping

For those of you eager to take a pumpkin home, there is a large array of pumpkins for purchase and even carving kits, too. You will also find a shopping area and vendors to purchase decorative and food items. With many culinary delights to choose from, take your pick from pumpkin Secco, pumpkin tea, a variety of pumpkin spice mixes for soups and other dishes, pumpkin ketchup, pumpkin fruit spread, roasted pumpkin seeds, and so on. I think you get the idea here. The array of choices seems endless. There are many options to choose from so that you can have your fair share of pumpkin all season long in a variety of ways.

unicorn ludwigsburg pumpkin festival 2019

4. Pumpkins From All Over the World

Something you may not expect to see is a huge display of pumpkins labeled with their origin country. It was fascinating to look at all the different varieties of pumpkins and to see where each one originated from. To my surprise, our whole family spent quite some time on this display. My daughter was especially excited when she recognized our traditional pumpkin from the United States that we carve each year on Halloween. Be sure to stop by this interesting showcase of pumpkins.

5. The Palace Gardens

Just walking the grounds of Ludwigsburg’s Residential Palace warrants a trip in itself. As one of Germany’s largest Baroque palaces, the palace and the grounds are a must-see while visiting the area. If time allows, guided tours of the inside of the palace are offered in multiple languages. Not to mention, by purchasing admission to the pumpkin festival you will also have access to the infamous fairy tale gardens with over 30 scenes and activities for children big and small.

From the well-manicured landscaping to the dreamy fountains and impressive architecture, this is definitely a sight you will not want to miss. Add in some seasonable fun and it makes a perfect day trip for the whole family.

residential palace ludwigsburg pumpkin festival 2019

6. Exciting Events

The festival hosts numerous special events on designated dates. Ranging from pumpkin carving contests to smashing pumpkins, to pumpkin weigh-ins to ‘tales from the pumpkin patch’, a beloved storytime for children, to the largest pot of pumpkin soup in Germany cooked and served to visitors.

But my favorite event of all is the German pumpkin paddling championship. Where competitors race in giant hollowed-out gourds to victory across the castle lake. Be sure to check out the festival’s website for the dates and times of all these exciting annual events.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead and plan your trip for fall 2023 to see this year’s fire-themed displays.  Over 450,000 pumpkins will showcase artistic pumpkin figures around the theme of “fire” with characters like the Pokémon Charmander and the beloved Fireman Sam. Rumor has it that even Fred Flintstone will be making an appearance. Don’t forget to visit the festival website for the most up-to-date information on parking, hours, admission fees, and more. I’ve included some details below to help you with your visit. Happy exploring!

As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts. If something sparks your interest or if you have any questions, please share them below. And if this piece resonated with you, please consider supporting my site through Buy Me a Coffee. Your support enables me to craft more stories to share with you all. 💕 Journeying Together, Kristie

Visit the 2023 Pumpkin Festival: August 25th to December 3rd

Address: Blooming Baroque Ludwigsburg, Mömpelgardstrasse 28, 71640 Ludwigsburg

Hours of Operation
August 25th to October 28th (7 days a week):
Gastronomy 10:30 am- 5:00pm (*October 29th to December 3rd: 11 am-8:30pm*)
Exhibition 9 am-8:30 pm. (*October 29th to December 3rd: 9 am-9:30pm*)
Farm and Souvenir shop 10:30 am- 5:30 pm (*October 29th to December 3rd: 3 pm-8:00 pm*)
Pumpkin Sale 10:30 am- 5:30 pm (*October 29th to December 3rd: 12pm-8:30 pm*)

Admission fees: Adults €11.50, Children (ages 4-15) €5.50 The daily price includes a visit to all gardens, including the fairy tale garden, plus entrance to the pumpkin festival and exhibition. Tickets can be purchased onsite or online.

Dog Policy: Generally bringing dogs is allowed, please visit their website for their specific policies.

Parking: For arrival by train, bus, or car, please visit here for detailed information.

Want to Learn More About the Fairy Tale Garden? Read my post for more details.

Disclaimer: Please know that while I pour my heart and soul into providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, the world has its way of changing. The details and insights shared here were accurate at the time of penning them down. However, in time, some specifics might shift. Always double-check before making any plans. Safe travels and warm wishes.

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