WHAT: The World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their astounding, mind-boggling, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs hope to squash the world record on Monday, October 8 at the 39th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off –– the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs” –– in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California.
This year, event organizers are offering a new $25,000 mega-prize for the world’s first 1-ton pumpkin or $10,000 for a new world record at Half Moon Bay. A host of accomplished, grizzled veteran growers will contend for the coveted title, the $25,000 1-ton/world record prize and thousands of dollars in additional prize money. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner will take home a hefty $6 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin.
Defending champion Leonardo Urena, of Napa, CA, obliterated the competition at last year’s weigh-off with his ungodly 1,704-pound Atlantic Giant that set a new California record. Beauty will share center stage with beefy brawn with a $500 prize awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.
Using forklifts and special harnesses, the gargantuan gourds will be carefully placed on a 5-ton capacity, industrial-strength digital scale under the watchful eye of officials from the San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner's Office of Weights, Sealers, and Measures. Half Moon Bay’s Weigh-Off will serve as an officially sanctioned Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) site.
THE GRAND CHAMPION MEGA-GOURD, ALONG WITH THE TOP FIVE WEIGH-OFF PUMPKINS, WILL BE DISPLAYED AT THE HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL, OCTOBER 13-14 FROM 9 AM TO 5 PM ON MAIN STREET.
WHEN: Monday, October 8, 2012. Weighing will begin at 7 a.m. and will be concluded at 11 a.m. Growers will start lining the street as daylight breaks by 7 a.m.
WHERE: I.D.E.S. Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, California.
WHY: The weigh-off kicks-off the world-famous HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL –– THE FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE OCTOBER 13-14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on historic Main Street. Festival highlights include a special display of gigantically enormous/heavyweight champion pumpkins, three stages of smashing entertainment, stellar live music, the Great Pumpkin Parade with Grand Marshal, Hall of Fame quarterback, Super Bowl MVP and all-time 49er great Steve Young, a bone-chilling Haunted House, harvest-inspired crafts, homestyle foods, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting a monster 1,200+ pound pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun (not a contest), “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands”, the Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, festival-label wine and Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Admission is free.
1st Place –– $6 per pound
2nd Place –– $2,000
3rd Place –– $1,500
4th Place –– $1,000
5th – 10th Place –– $500 each
1-Ton/World Record Pumpkin –– $25,000
World Record Pumpkin –– $10,000
Biggest California Pumpkin –– $1,000
Biggest Coastside Pumpkin –– $500
Most Beautiful Pumpkin –– $500