Oct 9, 2019
World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off set in California

Will the heavyweight pumpkin world record go down in Half Moon Bay, California, this year? No weigh? Weigh! 

The excitement is building in Pumpkintown as the World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their humongous, mind-blowing, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs hope to crush the world record on the morning of Monday, Oct. 14 at the 46th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off – in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California – the kick-off to Half Moon Bay’s world-famous Art & Pumpkin Festival which takes place Oct. 19-20.

Weigh-off organizers and title sponsor Safeway are offering a world’s biggest top prize of $7 per pound. Also at stake are thousands of dollars in beefed up prize money doled out to the top 20 plus the big carrot: a $30,000 total mega-prize for a new world record pumpkin entered at Half Moon Bay – considered the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs”. 

A host of accomplished veteran growers will be contending for the coveted title. The winner and champion mega-pumpkin also play a starring role in the world-famous Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 19-20 (including a free weekend at the posh, pumpkin-centric Ritz-Carlton on the stunningly beautiful Half Moon Bay coast).

To receive the $30,000 world record prize, the grower must break and hold the world record at the conclusion of the Half Moon Bay weigh-off. If two or more growers happen to break the world record at Half Moon Bay, the prize money would go to the grower of the heaviest pumpkin. The current world record is 2,624-pounds set in 2016 at a weigh-off in Germany.

Defending Half Moon Bay champion Steve Daletas’ gorgeous and gargantuan 2,170-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2018 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

Beauty will share center stage with beefy brawn – a special $1,000 prize will be awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.

It’s always a sight to behold. Every year on weigh-off reckoning day the streets around downtown Half Moon Bay are lined with sagging, overloaded trucks crammed with burly orange behemoths quietly awaiting their place of destiny in the worldwide media spotlight or the Libby’s canning factory, their massive roots firmly planted in buckets of water to prevent weight loss as fans ooh and aah at their sheer, stunning enormity.

Using forklifts and harnesses, the monster gourds will be carefully placed on a 5-ton capacity digital scale under the watchful eye of officials from the San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office of Weights, Sealers, and Measures. 

The official weighing will take place on Monday, Oct. 14t from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the I.D.E.S. Grounds, 735 Main Street in Half Moon Bay. 

The champion pumpkin, along with the top four heaviest pumpkins overall, will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on October 19-20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Earlier this year, Half Moon Bay’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off was named as the first ever recipient of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth’s (GPC) World’s Top Weigh-Off site award spanning a 25 year period from 1993-2018. “This inaugural award was presented to the weigh-off site that has weighed the ten heaviest pumpkins in the history of the site being part of the GPC,” said GPC Historian Jack Larue. “In 2018, the GPC sanctioned 114 weigh-off sites worldwide,” said Larue. 

The top 10 pumpkins weighed at the Half Moon Bay site have a total combined weight of 20,414.0 pounds for an average weight of 2,041.4 pounds. The Ohio Valley weigh-off site came in second place with a top ten total combined weight of 20,282.0 pounds for an average weight of 2,028.2 pounds. In third place was the Stillwater Minnesota weigh-off  site with a top ten total combined weight of 20,168.0 pounds for an average of 2,016.8 pounds.

For information on the weigh-off and festival, call 650-726-9652 or visit www.miramarevents.com.

Photo: Defending Half Moon Bay champion Steve Daletas’ gorgeous and gargantuan 2,170-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2018 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

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