Monday, October 6, 2008

Super Bowl of Pumpkin Contests

This weekend my wife and I went out to Topsfield, MA to attend one of the largest of the GPC pumpkin contests. The Topsfield Fair. Last year's world record 1,689 pound pumpkin grown by Joe Jutras (pictured left) was presented at the fair along with some other monsters. This year there were no new records (those will be presented in Rhode Island next week if they hold together) but there were still some massive pumpkins.

The growers in the greater Topsfield area are some of the best in the world. I also found them to be some of the nicest in the world. In the week before the event more than one grower offered travel tips while in Massachusetts and I met probably ten of the nicest guys and gals you could want to meet anywhere while at the fair.

I think a guy traveling out from Denver to Topsfield was a bit of a novelty. At least one reporter from Salem who interviewed me thought so. All I know is that I like big pumpkins and the 1,464 pound pumpkin grown by Wes Dwelly was quite a sight to behold. Makes the biggest ones in Denver look like child's play.

Bill Rodonis and his wife were at the event and it was great talking with them. Super nice guy. Bill grew a 1,566 pound pumpkin last year that was a world record holder for 20 minutes. Bill couldn't grow this year because of a knee problem, but you saw a sparkle in his eye every time a pumpkin went to the scale that was grown on his seed. You would of thought he grew it himself. Thanks Bill for taking the time to talk with me!

Steve Connley was at the event and I had a chance to be introduced to him. Steve has a pumpkin taping out at an estimated 1,900 pounds on the vine right now. If it can survive another 5 days it may be a new world record. Jutas says he has a 1,600 pound pumpkin on the vine that is still growing so it will be interesting to see who goes heavy and who goes light.

I also had a chance to get to know Hooker, Sperry, Ed, Craig, Duff, John and a bunch of other really nice guys from all over New England who share the same passions as I do. Thanks to all of you too!

In the end it was all about the pumpkins however. Lots and lots of them at a really well run event. At the very last it came down to these three big ones. I'm hoping for something like this next year in my patch. Send me some of those seeds guys!

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