Half Moon Bay
Safeway Pumpkin Weigh-off
WINNER: Gary Miller from Napa, California
(Gary Miller, from Napa, California, with his prize winning 1,985 pound pumpkin and three grandchildren, Anna, Katie and Ben Miller)
The drama was high this year when the world record setting pumpkin grower from last year, Tim Matheson, showed up with three huge pumpkins! Could it be a new world record was going to be crowned right here in Half Moon Bay?
It was close, but no pumpkin weigh-off world record was set. In fact, Tim Matheson's monster gourd came in second! The big winner this year was Gary Miller, from Napa, California! His pumpkin weighed an astounding 1,985 pounds!...a meer 48 pounds off of stealing the world record. And I gotta say, it's the biggest pumpkin that most anyone has ever seen!
Pumpkins keep getting bigger every year. Back in 1974 when the Half Moon Bay weigh-off began, the winning pumpkin weighed only 132 pounds!
Here are the top five and special category winners:
1. Gary Miller, Napa, CA 1,985 pounds $11,910 in prize money
2. Tim Matheson, Napa, CA 1,894 pounds $2,000
3. Leonardo Urena, Napa, CA 1,592 pounds $1,500
4. Russ Pugh, Santa Rosa, CA 1,578 pounds $1,000
5. R. Pingray, Santa Rosa, CA 1,521 pounds $500
Locals Edna Muller and Farmer John each won $500 for their pumpkins that placed 8th and 9th respectively.
Gary Miller also receives another $1,000 in prize money for the biggest pumpkin from California.
Edna Muller won $500 for her 1,104 pound pumpkin for being the biggest pumpkin from the Coastside.
Vince Zunio, from Los Altos won $500 for "The Most Beautiful Pumpkin"which weighed in at
The top five pumpkins will be on display this weekend, October 19-20, 2013 at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin and Art Festival.
There were a number of pranks pulled at the weigh-off this year that entertained the crowd. First, Farmer John and two of his grandchildren "struggled" to bring up a glitter colored pumpkin up to the scale. Everyone laughed when the scale showed that the pumpkin and the two kids together weighed 98 pounds. Twelve pounds if you didn't count the kids. Not as heavy as they made it out to be!
Another prank was the arrival of a very special pumpkin that was covered on its way to the scale....watch what happens!
Also among the crowd was the fifth grade from Seacrest Elementary in Half Moon Bay. While they had school on this Columbus Day, the classes took a field trip to the weigh-off and clip boards in hand, had to make observations, create drawings and interview at least two farmers. They also had to come up with adjectives to describe the event. The kids all did great and it was fun looking at their pumpkin drawings.
Did you know...
The pumpkin seeds used to grow these monsters (Atlantic Giant) are the size of peach pits.
Most giant pumpkin growers plant their seeds in April.
Giant pumpkins can gain as much as 30 pounds a day during the peak growing season.
However, once they are cut from the vine, these giant pumpkins can lose up to 5-10 pounds a day.
4,000 tons of pumpkins are grown in the Half Moon Bay area every year.