Napa man wins pumpkin weigh-off with 1,985-pound gourd

A Napa man who grew a record-breaking 1,985-pound pumpkin won the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay this morning.

Gary Miller's winning gourd has garnered him a prize of $11,910, or $6 per pound. His pumpkin is the heaviest the 40-year-old contest has ever seen, contest spokesman Tim Beeman said.

Safeway had offered a bonus of $30,000 if a pumpkin broke the world record of 2,009 pounds, but Miller's pumpkin came up short of that.

Last year's winner in the Half Moon Bay contest was Thad Starr, of Pleasant Hill, Ore., who grew a 1,775-pound pumpkin.

The weigh-off started around 7 a.m. today, with growers from around the country hauling their large loads to the parking lot at 735 Main St. where the contest was held.

Miller also won the honor of having the heaviest pumpkin from the state of California, which earned him an extra $1,000.

The heftiest pumpkin grown in San Mateo County was from Eda Muller's Half Moon Bay pumpkin farm, which she maintains with her husband John. Her 1,104-pound pumpkin gained her a $500 prize.

Another award went to the “prettiest” pumpkin, which is judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.

Vince Zunino, of Los Altos Hills, won that $500 prize for his good-looking pumpkin, which Beeman described as “magnificent in both the color and shape.”

For the weigh-off, the giant gourds were hauled onto a 5-ton digital scale using forklifts and special harnesses, with officials from the San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures office overseeing the process.

The three heaviest pumpkins were all grown at farms in Napa, according to Beeman.

The winning pumpkins, along with the top five runners up, will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 19 and 20.

The weekend-long festival includes music, a “Great Pumpkin Parade” with an appearance by former San Francisco Giants player J.T. Snow, a haunted house, pumpkin-themed foods and treats, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving and other activities.Bay Area NewsPeninsula

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

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

New protected bicycle lanes stretch from the city's Portola District to Bernal Heights. (Courtesy Bay City News)
City leaders celebrate protected bike lanes in city’s Portola, Bernal Heights neighborhoods

San Francisco city leaders on Thursday announced the completion of new protected… Continue reading

Basketball (Shutterstock)
Stanford’s NCAA Tournament hopes in peril after close loss to Oregon

Ziaire Williams nearly had his moment on Thursday night. After giving his… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Most Read