From the Kootenays to the Fraser Valley and as far away as California, BC pumpkins have impressed crowds with their colour and size.
At Top Crop Garden Farm and Pet in Cranbrook, 2,300 people turned out on a rainy September 30 to see who grew this year’s largest pumpkin.
“People came out in droves, rain or shine, with giant pumpkins and smiles on their faces,” says Top Crop chief operating officer Brandon Calestagne. “They supported local businesses, local vendors [and] money was raised for the Leslie Long [Rescue] charity. So, it turned out to be a really great day.”
In the event’s fourth year, store owner Shannon Fisher hosted the contest along with a live band and petting zoo for family entertainment.
This year’s winner was 6-year-old Colt from Jaffray, who grew the pumpkin with his grandmother Cindy Bolen. They grew a 510-pound pumpkin, which set a contest record, and took home the top prize of $500.
“In the first year, a 100-pound pumpkin would have been really impressive. So, you know, a mere four years later and now we’re crossing the 500-pound mark,” Calestagne says.
The event brings the community together to celebrate local growers, hard work and a good cause, Calestagne adds. “A day for fun and community is never a waste of time.”
In Langley, Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery hosted a weigh-off event on October 7.
Vancouver Islander Kerri van Kooten-Perras won with her 1,152-pound Atlantic giant pumpkin named Walter.
“After two years of an empty patch, I’m pretty happy with having something growing – introducing Walter! Thanks to everyone who had a hand in putting on the event. It was fantastic to meet other growers and see the enthusiasm for this crazy hobby,” van Kooten-Perras says on Facebook.
The runner-up pumpkin weighed in at 1,028 lbs, grown by Trevor and Joanne Halliday of Maple Ridge. The couple entered three pumpkins in the event, which totalled 4,463 lbs. They also won two Howard Dill awards for the “prettiest pumpkins.”
But the biggest pumpkin of the year was grown by Dave and Janet Chan of Richmond, who won the Hard Rock Casino National Weigh Off in Sacramento, California, on September 30.
The couple claimed top honours for the heaviest pumpkin in North America with a gourd that squashed the competition at 2,212 lbs.
In recognition of their accomplishment, the Chans took home a championship belt and $28,000.