California’s Largest Pumpkin Weighs In at Uesugi Farms 26th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off
Uesugi Farms hosted their 26th annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off last Saturday, October 8th, at their family-run Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park in San Martin, California, where the heaviest 2016 pumpkin in California weighed in at 1,937 lbs. and won first place.
Uesugi Farms’ annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off is where pumpkin-growing contestants from all over the West Coast compete for the biggest, heaviest pumpkin in hopes to win over $25,000 in prize money. This year, Leonardo Urena’s 1,937 lb pumpkin put all the others to shame, stressing the scale in all its gigantic gourd glory.
Aside from winning $13,559 in champion prize money, which is $7 per pound of pumpkin, Leonardo gets the satisfaction of growing this year’s largest pumpkin weighed in California. This isn’t his first pumpkin weigh-off competition though, as he has competed in Uesugi’s weigh-off event for several years and finished in 2nd place with a 1,710 lb pumpkin in last year’s competition.
The remainder of the prize money awarded at the weigh-off ranges from $2,500 for 2nd place to $75 to 20th place. If the pumpkin ends up being a world record-breaking pumpkin, the winner receives additional prize money to increase their total winnings to a whopping $30,000.
“When you’re weighing and presenting several pumpkins at this event, it’s bound to get a little competitive between growers and even between pumpkin festivals. Uesugi Farms is proud to be a part of this competition every year and award contestants for the size and weight of their pumpkins entered, but we’re especially proud to have weighed the heaviest pumpkin in California in 2016,” said Pete Aiello, General Manager at Uesugi Farms.
In addition to winnings awarded to contestants, Uesugi Farms also makes donations to the Michael Aiello Memorial Agricultural Scholarship Fund, a fund they started to help provide financial assistance to students interested in agriculture. $1 per pound is donated for the 1st place winner, $.50 for 2nd and $.25 for 3rd.
The Uesugi Farms Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off is sanctioned by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, a nonprofit organization that establishes required standards and regulations for all participating growers of giant pumpkins that compete at international weigh-off events.
“While this year’s Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off was more than successful, we hope that next year everyone brings the same competitive spirit, and a world record” said Aiello.