Half Moon Bay's World Heavyweight Championship of Monster Gourds is October 9
$30,000 MEGA-PRIZE OFFERED FOR A NEW WORLD RECORD PUMPKIN
Will the world pumpkin heavyweight record go down? The intrigue is building as Superstar Gourd Growing Greats and their astonishing, mind-boggling, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs gather on the morning of Monday, October 9 for the 44th 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 October 14-15.
Official Weigh-Off results being recorded on stage
Forklifts and harnesses are needed to place these monster gourds on the 5-ton capacity digital scale
Contenders await their turn with vines still attached
Weigh-Off organizers are offering a $30,000 mega-prize for a new world record pumpkin entered at Half Moon Bay—considered the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs”. A host of accomplished, grizzled veteran growers will be contending for the coveted title, the $30,000 world record prize and thousands of dollars in additional prize money. In a unique pay-by-the-pound system, the winner will take home a hefty $7 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin plus a starring role in the world-famous Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 14-15 (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 pumpkin is 2,624 pounds set on October 9, 2016 by Mathias Willemijns of Belgium at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
Defending Half Moon Bay champion Cindy Tobeck's ginormous 1,910-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2016 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Beauty will share center stage with beefy brawn—a special $500 prize will be awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.
On weigh-off reckoning day, streets around downtown Half Moon Bay will be 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 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 five pumpkins overall, will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on October 14-15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on the weigh-off and festival, call 650-726-9652.