- NEWS RELEASE -
GIANT PUMPKIN GROWERS SET FOR 12TH ANNUAL WINDSOR PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
WINDSOR - A Giant pumpkin growers from the Atlantic Provinces, and perhaps a few from outside the region, will be trucking their prize specimens to Windsor's Exhibition Park on Saturday, Oct. 5, for the 12th annual Windsor Pumpkin Festival.
The Windsor site, sponsored by Atlantic Pumpkin Growers' Association, will be one of 19 locations in Canada and the United States for the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth weighoff, which is offering a top prize of $3,000 for the heaviest pumpkin, and $500 for the heaviest squash.
Those prizes are in addition to the $1,000 for the heaviest pumpkin and $500 for the heaviest squash to be awarded to Windsor competitors.
Windsor will be the only Nova Scotia weighoff site for giant pumpkins, this fall, because the Atlantic Winter Fair has decided not to hold a separate competition. Instead, the Winter Fair will offer the Windsor champions cash awards to display their prize winners at the Halifax fair site on the two following weekends.
Danny Dill, Windsor's site co-ordinator, says that Nova Scotia businesses have again pledged their support to the Festival, making it possible to award prizes for the top 10 pumpkins and squash; the three heaviest watermelons; and the three heaviest field pumpkins.
The grand champion in the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth could also be worth $10 per pound, and a trip to California for its grower, compliments of The Nut Tree Complex in that state. The champion pumpkin will be showcased as the centrepiece for Nut Tree's fall festival.
Events at the Windsor Pumpkin Festival start at 8 a.m., when registration opens for pumpkin entries, and Windsor and District Lions Club holds its annual pancake and sausage breakfast.
Giant pumpkins will be weighed at 10 a.m., and awards will be presented at 2 p.m. Stable Country will entertain before and after the weighoff, which will be held in Exhibition Arena.
Windsor's town crier, Lloyd Smith, will host an International Town Criers Gathering at 1:30 p.m.
The festival will hold contests to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin; to guess the number of seeds in a giant pumpkin; and to select the best pumpkin dessert.
Hants West Ground Search and Rescue will hold a Chinese auction in the O'Brien Building at 1 p.m.
Maritime pumpkin growers were challenged by a wet July, followed by visits by a couple of hurricanes in August and September, as they nursed their prize specimens.
But competitors in other regions faced even more difficult conditions, so competition could be fierce for this year's pumpkin crown.
While Maritime growers have held world championships for a number of years, the push is on to beat the record of 990 pounds set by Ontario grower Herman Bax in 1994.
In addition to Windsor, Great Pumpkin Commonwealth weighoffs will be held this year in Ottawa and Rockton, Ont.; Roland, Man.; Smokey Lake, Alta.; Topsfield, Mass.; Amagansett and Oswego, N.Y.; Canfield, Ohio; Altoona, Pa.; Monroe and St. John's, Mich.; Lockport, Ill.; Oconomowoc, Wis.; Anamosa, Iowa; Republic, Mo.; Carnation, Wash.; and Nut Tree and Santa Barbara, Calif.
Contact: Danny Dill, Windsor, N.S. 902-798-2728 or 902-798-1082
Home of Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin
Atlantic Pumpkin Growers' Association
PO Box 901
Windsor NS B0N 2T0
902-798-2728 or 902-798-1082
Logo courtesy of Al Kingsbury
Last Updated: Fri Sep 27 10:30:00PM CST 1996