THANKSGIVING POINT – Pumpkin spice, and everything nice! Summer has officially turned its leaf, which means all things fall and more importantly, all things pumpkins! But not just any ordinary jack-o’-lantern – we’re talking massive pumpkins!
Guests carved out some time to attend the Harvest Festival at Thanksgiving Point this weekend to see what it was all about.
The Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers Association held its 30th annual pumpkin weigh-off and the numbers on the scale were shocking.
Contestants’ hard work paid off as their pumpkins were put to the test on a heavy-duty scale. Numbers ranged from 95 pounds to over 1600 pounds! Those are serious pumpkins.
The real question is: How did these pumpkin growers get hooked on such a unique hobby? Well, everyone has had their own unique journey.
Some have grown for three years; other seasoned veterans have grown for 20 years.
Yet, whether growers are on their third or twentieth year, they’ve each had their own ups and downs. Hey, you win some, you lose some.
Luck of the seed and weather elements were common obstacles this season, but some pumpkins managed to squash the competition!
The heaviest pumpkin of the day came out at a whopping 1608 pounds, making it the biggest pumpkin in Utah, and twelfth biggest pumpkin in the world!
Andrew Israelson, pumpkin grower of 20 years, was responsible for this heavy hitter. Elated, he said, “Ya know, it feels great. It feels great. I have been thinking about this for weeks and weeks and I’ve been nervous all day long, and finally to win and come in at over 1600 pounds.”
So, what exactly do these pumpkin and gourd growers do with their pumpkins after the weigh-off?
One woman said she carves them up with her granddaughter each year. Another said kids at the local elementary school take a field trip to come see the giant pumpkin. One young man even turns his giant gourds into didgeridoos!
Some growers have even turned this hobby into a business. Pumpkin grower, Jim Seamons, said, “As I got into pumpkins, I have land, so I started growing cause guys that are carving back here wanted to carve pumpkins at fall festivals, parties. Etc. Well, where do you get a giant pumpkin?”
Whether it’s a hobby or a way to make a living, these pumpkin growers are passionate about what they do.
Jim exclaimed, “This is why I do it, just for the ribbon!”
While the 1608 pound pumpkin is currently the heaviest pumpkin in Utah, the association will hold yet another weigh-off on October 12th at HeeHaw Farms.
Watch out, Andrew!