California contest dubs 1,969-pound pumpkin the plumpest

Jack La Rue, left, of Tenino, Wash. and Jim Sherwood of Mulino, Ore., arrive with their giant pumpkins to participate in the Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Jack La Rue, left, of Tenino, Wash. and Jim Sherwood of Mulino, Ore., arrive with their giant pumpkins to participate in the Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — A rippled white gourd weighing in at 1,969 pounds took the title Monday for plumpest pumpkin at an annual San Francisco Bay Area contest.

Growers gathered with their gargantuan gourds to try to break the world record of 2,323 pounds, set by a Swiss grower during a competition in Germany last year.

It didn’t happen.

But the winning entry at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, was no small feat. Steve Daletas of Pleasant Hill, Oregon, won $12,000 for the lumpy, 1,969-pound gourd he grew.

“It’s been a good year,” he said after the contest. “I’ve never grown an official 1,900-pound pumpkin before.”

Forklifts and special harnesses carefully placed the massive pumpkins on an industrial-strength digital scale with a capacity of 5 tons as officials from the county agricultural commissioner’s Office of Weights, Sealers, and Measures kept close watch.

Second place went to Ron and Karen Root of Citrus Heights, California, for their 1,806-pound entry. A $500 prize also was awarded to the “most beautiful” pumpkin based on color, shape and size.

With California in its fourth year of drought, some said the dry soil deflated their pumpkin-growing dreams.

“No doubt about it,” Gary Miller of Napa, the 2013 winner, told Bay Area news station KNTV. He entered a 1,303-pound pumpkin.

Last year, grower John Hawkley set a North American record with a 2,058-pound entry. He returned to defend his title, but his pumpkin registered 1,447 pounds.

Organizer Tim Beeman said the contest kicks off the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival this weekend.

Californiapumpkins

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Blue California often is the target of criticism by conservative media, but now is receiving critical attention from liberal writers. Pictured: The State Capitol. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Why is California now being criticized from the left?

California being what it is – a very large state with a… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read