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It's Time for the Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off

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Gardeners from around the US and Canada gather on the first Saturday of October to compete for the title of Giant Pumpkin Champion. With more than fifty Giant Pumpkin weighing stations in the United States alone, the competition is fierce. Last year’s national winner from Leetonia, Ohio, grew a pumpkin that weighed an incredible 1,140 lbs. Last year’s Utah winner was Kenny Blair with a pumpkin that tipped the scales at an impressive 633 lbs. A pumpkin that tips the scale at more than half a ton could easily have held the wife in the nursery rhyme because it is about the size and weight of a small car. Thanksgiving Point is the official weighing station for Utah. With more than twenty Atlantic Giant Pumpkin entries last October, the annual event continues to grow each year. This year, Thanksgiving Point will add a variety of fun, family activities to the Saturday, October 6, 2001, event and call it the Great Pumpkin Festival at Thanksgiving Point. Growers who have questions about this year’s competition should call Bart Jarman at (801) 768-7423. The pumpkins to be entered must be sound with no cracks or damage. Seasoned growers like to wait as long as possible to pick the giant fruits but the pumpkins must arrive by the specified time. The schedule for the Festival at the Children’s Discovery Garden this year is as follows: Pumpkins must be on site and registered by 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Pumpkins will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grassy area south of the Children’s Discovery Garden. Activities including wagon hayrides, children’s games, face painting, and a putting contest. The weighoff start at 11 a.m. Make special note of the time and location change for this year’s event. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a pumpkin pie-eating contest ($5 to enter) and a variety of traditional fair games like three-legged, gunnysack, and wheelbarrow races. The activities also include a pumpkin patch and abundant concessions including pumpkin cookies, treat, and pies. Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Thanksgiving Point Office

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