The lead-up to this weekend’s Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival is the annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, which was held Monday morning so the winner can be determined before the festival begins. We see the winner above, a massive 2,170-pound pumpkin that is the second-largest ever in the 40-year history of this festival.
“This all started with one special seed and a whole lot of work,” winner Steve Daletas, an air pilot who drove this beast down from Oregon, told the Associated Press. “We were really blessed it was sunny almost every day.”
Daletas has won this competition four times now, and takes home a $15,190 prize for top honors (the winner is paid $7 per pumpkin pound). A $30,000 “mega-prize” is also available to anyone who grows the world-record largest pumpkin ever, but Daletas’ gourd fell shy of the all-time record 2,624-pound pumpkin from Germany.
Still, the contest has come a long way since its first iteration in 1974. That year, a mere 132-pound pumpkin took top honors.
You can get your picture taken with this prize-winning pumpkin at this weekend’s Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, which will also feature its customary Great Pumpkin Parade, Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, a Halloween Costume Contest, and live music Saturday and Sunday. The Smashing Pumpkins were not invited to perform.