Insight & Analysis

2,560-pound Minnesota pumpkin crowned winner in championship weigh-off

Published: Oct 2022

During the autumn season many people see themselves as temporary pumpkin enthusiasts but for others, their passion for pumpkins is so great that it draws them to a unique type of competition.

The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off commenced recently in Half Moon Bay, California, United States for the 49th year.

Travis Gienger, a horticulture teacher from Minnesota won with his pumpkin weighing in at 2,560 pounds. Gienger is somewhat of a champion in the pumpkin stakes as he also took first place in 2020 with a 2,350-pound squash.

According to the organisers, the prize pumpkin set a new North American record, but it has not beaten the current world record, which was set in 2021 by a 2,703-pound pumpkin in Italy, according to Guinness World Records.

Nearly 30 pumpkin growers took part in this year’s Half Moon Bay weigh-off and the competition attracted hundreds of attendees.

Farmers begin planting their seeds in April to prepare for the event and on the day of the competition, each pumpkin is carefully weighed on an industrial-strength digital scale using forklifts and special harnesses.

Half Moon Bay, located south of San Francisco, considers itself the pumpkin capital of the world because of its local growers who produce more than 3,000 tons of pumpkins each year.

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