Giant Pumpkin Contest
The All New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off began at Topsfield Fair in 1984, and off-shoot of the fair's Family Garden Largest Cucurbit Contest still held today in the vegetable barn. That year the winning pumpkin, grown by Wayne Hackney of New Milford, CT, weighed 433 pounds and he was awarded $100. In 1989 Hackney joined Hugh Wiberg, who had started growing these giant cucurbits in the 1960's, and Tom Cone to form the New England Pumpkin Growers Association (NEGPGA) and Topsfield Fair became the official weigh-off site. Wiberg had become intersted in growing giant pumpkins after hearing of Howard Dill of Nova Scotia, whose 438 pound pumpkin set a world record in 1979 and word of the now famous Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seeds spread through the growing community of giant pumpkin enthusiasts. The weigh-off in Topsfield has received world-wide recognition and become so popular that a cut-off weight had to be instituted. All entries must now weigh at least 300 pounds. In 2008 the top 25 entries, out of 56, weighed more than 1,000 pounds!
In 2002 Charlie Houghton of New Boston, NH brought international recognition to the NEGPGA and to Topsfield when his 1337.6 pound pumpkin was deemed the largest ever grown in the world and he was officially entered into the Guinness World Book of Records. He was awarded $5,000 by the fair that year and his pumpkin was carved into what was deemed to be the world's largest Jack O'Lantern at a New Hampshire garden Center.
The record fell at Topsfield in 2007 when Joe Jutras of North Scituate, RI brought in a 1,689 pumpkin...will that record fall this year?
The weigh-off will begin at 4pm and pumpkins will start being unloaded at 1pm. Will there be a winner this year larger than last year's 1,668.5 lb. giant grown by Peter DeNigris in Manchester, MA? Let's hope the summer heat will help produce a record weight! Call George and Maryann Hoomis of Ipswich (978) 356-0117 for more information.
1st - Ron Wallace, Greene, RI - 2009 pounds
2nd - Woody Lancaster, Topsfield, MA - 1649 pounds
3rd - Rick Skrzypczak, , MA - 1597.5 pounds
1st - Peter DeNigris, Manchester, MA - 1668.5 pounds
2nd - Bruce Whittier, Henniker, NH - 1593 pounds
3rd - Bob Duffy, Topsfield, MA - 1513 pounds
1st - Steve Connolly, Sharon, MA - 1674.5 pounds
2nd - Al Boudreau, Rindge, NH - 1470.0 pounds
3rd - Armand Michaud, Ipswich, MA - 1445.0 pounds
1st - Bill Rodonis, New Hampshire - 1,471.60 pounds
2nd - Bruce Whittier, New Hampshire - 1,409.00 pounds
3rd - Ron Wallace, Rhode Island - 1,395.20 pounds