On Monday we'll find out who will break the world record of a 2,009-pound pumpkin when growers with their huge pumpkins descend upon Half Moon Bay for the 40th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off to kick-off the Art & Pumpkin Festival Oct. 19-20.
The official weighing takes place from 7 to 11 a.m. on the I.D.E.S. Grounds, 735 Main Street, in Half Moon Bay where forklifts and harnesses will be used to place the monster gourds 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.
Defending champion Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill, Ore., won at last year's Half Moon Bay weigh-off with his humongous 1,775-pound mega-gourd that set a new California weigh-off record.
Organizers are offering a $25,000 mega-prize for a new world record pumpkin entered at Half Moon Bay. A host of veteran growers will be contending for the coveted title, the $25,000 world record prize and thousands of dollars in additional prize money. In a unique pay-by-the-pound system, the winner is guaranteed to take home a hefty $6 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin.
To receive the $25,000 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 2,009 pounds. The monster pumpkin was grown by Ron Wallace and set at a weigh-off in Topsfield, Mass. in 2012.
Also, a special $500 prize will be awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.
The champion pumpkin, along with the top five 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. For information on the weigh-off and festival, call 650-726-9652 or visit www.miramarevents.com.