Half Moon Bay California’s World Heavyweight Championship Of Godzilla Gourds

World’s Biggest Top Prize of $7/Pound
Plus $30k Total Mega-Prize at Stake for a New World Record Pumpkin
Will the World Record be Squashed at the Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs this Year?

Bring it on beefy, burly behemoths! The excitement is building in Pumpkintown as the World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their mind-blowing, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs hope to squash the world record on Monday, October 11 at the 48th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off — the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs” — in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California.

2020 champion Travis Gienger and his winning 2,350 lb mega gourd
Minnesota grower Travis Gienger's goliath 2,350-pound mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2020 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 

2015 Weigh-off forklift prepares to lift giant pumpkin
Forklifts and harnesses are needed to place these monster gourds on the 5-ton capacity digital scale

2015 Weigh-off giant pumpkin with stem in water awaits its turn on the scale
Contenders await their turn with vines still attached

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 super hefty 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”. The weighing of monster pumpkins will begin at 7am and end around 11am.

Travis Gienger's goliath 2,350-pound mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2020 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 our esteemed panel based on color, shape and size. Additional special prizes include: Biggest California Pumpkin — $1,000; Biggest Coastside Pumpkin — $1,000.

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.


Long Branch Farms is among the top venues for private events in the San Francisco Bay Area. The venue is popular for weddings, private parties, corporate offsites and company team building events. Two miles south of downtown Half Moon Bay off Highway 1, this unique old western town is nestled in the rolling countryside along the San Mateo coast. Long Branch Farms is located at 321 Verde Road, Half Moon Bay CA 94019. Get Directions


  • This event is open to growers of giant competition-sized pumpkins only.
  • Pumpkins must be grown, cared for, and entered by the Weigh-Off contestant.
  • Each contestant is limited to one entry.
  • Pumpkins that have won prizes in any other weigh-off competitions are not eligible.
  • In the event of a tie, prize money will be distributed equally among the tied parties.
  • Decisions of the judges are final in all cases.
  • Pumpkins must be in healthy and undamaged condition, free of rot, holes and cracks through the cavity, chemical residue, and soft spots.
  • To be classified as pumpkin, specimen must be 75% yellow/orange in color; all others will be classified as squash.
  • The vine must be trimmed to one inch from the stem. No foreign material is permitted in the weighing.
  • All pumpkins will be weighed without the use of tarps or other carrying devices.
  • Pumpkins will be classified by division based on where the specimen is grown, not the residence of the grower.
  • The Weigh-Off will be conducted in accordance with GPC rules.


Growers are responsible for bringing their entries to the Weigh-Off by 7:00 a.m. Weigh-Off staff will move pumpkins using brute strength manpower, special harnesses and forklifts. ALL entries will be handled with care.


The weighing and inspection will be officiated by the GPC and San Mateo County Department of Agriculture Office of Weights and Measures. The official weighing will be conducted using a 2-ton capacity digital scale.


Growers are required to pre-register. This event is open to growers of giant competition-sized pumpkins only. Pre-registration will be available closer to the event.


There will be an awards luncheon to honor all contestants immediately following the Weigh-Off in the spectacular Long Branch Farms Reception Parlor.


1st place prize money will be awarded in a “pay-by-the-pound” system with the champion receiving a hefty $7 per pound.


The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is offering a special $30,000 mega-prize for the world record breaking pumpkin at the prestigious Half Moon Bay event. To receive the $30,000 mega-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. Here's how the $30,000 breaks down: the winner receives $7 per pound plus a $10,000 bonus mega prize for a new world record plus the difference to get to $30,000. So, a 2,000-pound pumpkin would net $14,000 (2,000 pounds x $7 per pound), plus $10,000 for a new world record, plus an additional $6,000 difference to get to the $30,000 threshold.


1st Place — $7 per pound
2nd Place — $3,000
3rd Place — $2,500
4th Place — $2,000
5th–10th Place — $1,000 each
11th–20th Place — $200 each


World Record Pumpkin — $30,000 (total)
Biggest California Pumpkin — $1,000
Biggest Coastside Pumpkin (Montara to Pescadero) — $1,000
Joseph W. Cotchett Family Most Beautiful Pumpkin — $1,000
Special GPC plaques and ribbons will also be awarded.


Positivity in Pumpkintown! Even in this year of the cruel COVID, unrelenting wildfires, and chaos on most every front, there are brightly shining points of light keeping hope alive, like our gracious and magnanimous friend Joseph W. Cotchett, one of the true pillars and lovers of our close-knit Half Moon Bay community, beaming magically over it all.

The Pumpkin Festival's Beautification Committee is humbled and honored beyond words that Mr. Cotchett has donated $200k to The Committee to launch the Pumpkin Power Project "PPP" Support Fund and has committed another $100k as a matching donation to others able and interested in making a tax deductible donation to the fund, 100% of which is going to provide and replace the lost funding to the Coastside community service organizations that rely on the fund-raising opportunity that has been provided by the Pumpkin Festival for 50 years but has been lost this year.

Donations can be made securely online or by sending a check to the HMB Beautification Commitee, PO Box 274, Half Moon Bay CA 94019. Donations are tax deductible - the Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee is a registered 501-C3 charitable organization. Donors will receive a confirmation email or letter for tax purposes.

"The Pumpkin Festival represents the very best of all the people who live on our coast -- from farmers to computer gurus,” said Mr. Cotchett. "The festival assists in giving back to all of the wonderful non-profits helping those in need. It is an honor and privilege to support all of the folks who work tirelessly on the festival every year."

We so miss seeing happy people enjoying our uniquely fabulous, feel-good festival and more than anything we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and support as we forge on with resilience and great optimism for 2021 and a brighter future!

Donate to the Pumpkin Power Project Support Fund


For press and sponsorship inquiries and assistance, please contact Tim Beeman, CEO of Miramar Events, at 415-999-2428 (mobile) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WEBSITE: http://weighoff.miramarevents.com
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YOU TUBE: https://youtu.be/rY6Pptu40eA

The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off

Heavyweight Championship of Gargantuan Gourds
October 11, 2021 7am to 2pm
Half Moon Bay, CA