No weigh. Weigh!!! Bring it on burly, beefy, behemoths! The excitement is building in Pumpkintown as the World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their astounding, mind-boggling, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs hope to squash the world record on Monday, October 9 at the 44th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off –– the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs” –– in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California.
Organizers are offering a beefed up top prize of $7 per pound and $30,000 in total prize money for a new world record pumpkin entered at Half Moon Bay (the current world record is 2,624-pounds set in 2016). A host of accomplished, grizzled veteran growers will contend for the coveted title, the $30,000 world record prize and thousands of dollars in additional prize money. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner is guaranteed a hefty $7 per pound for the champion mega-gourd 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).
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 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 four overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, October 14-15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street.