Oct 31, 2015

The Naked Pumpkin Runs

Naked festivals are held in many cities around the world, but in most parts of the United States, public nudity is a criminal offense.

Back during the freewheeling 1970s, it was merely a violation, or at most a misdemeanor -- lots of high school and college kids participated in the fad of streaking.  But now we've become even more puritanical, and it's often a felony.

So what do you do if you want to participate in a nude run?

You put a pumpkin on your head.

At Halloween 1999, over 100 University of Colorado students ran through the streets of Boulder wearing only shoes and pumpkins, or sometimes other masks.

They carried on the tradition for a decade, but in 2008, the police threatened to arrest participants, charge them with indecent exposure, and have them registered as sex offenders, along with the rapists and child molesters.

15 runners were arrested.

In 2009, Boulder passed a new anti-nudity ordinance, mandating fines rather than jail time, but people were scared off, and the runs have not resumed.

However, runners are taking up the tradition in cities which permit  public nudity as part of a "festival or performance, such as Portland, Oregon and Arcata, California.

 In Seattle, Washington, there's a full week of activities, including day and night runs and skinny-dipping.

Skinny dipping?  The temperature is usually in the 40s!

See also: My junior high streaking adventure.