Giant Pumpkins Take Over Uesugi Farms

The 22nd annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off brings in a record breaker this year at the Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park.


The 22nd annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off took place on Saturday afternoon and hundreds of people flocked to the Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park to witness one of the greatest and colossal spectacles on this side of the valley.   

It took months of watering and nurturing from John Hawkley from Napa to grow his behemoth size pumpkin and in the end came out a 1,647-pound Cucurbita maxima, or simply known to us as a giant pumpkin. The original Uesugi Farms record was 1610 pounds and Hawkley was barely able to surpass it.

However, it wasn’t Hawkley’s first time entering a contest but it was his first at the Uesugi Farms weigh-off and he was pretty excited about taking the grand prize and mentioned how he got the pumpkin so big and heavy.

“I’m shaking, I haven’t slept for the last couple of nights,” he said. “I just got lucky, I’ve been growing for about four years and last year we had a pretty good size pumpkin and we took fourth at Half Moon Bay, it was 1548 pounds. I thought I’d never grow another one that big and it just happened.”

So far it’s been a good year for Hawkley. He took eighth place in the 18th annual Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival and third place in the 2012 Half Moon Bay World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

Second place went to Pete and Cindi Glasier, also from Napa, with their 1,602 pounder and in third place was Ron Root from Citrus Heights with his 1,520 pound jumbo pumpkin.

In case you missed the weigh-off it’s not too late to visit Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park. The place features train rides through the cornfields, the Get Los in Kaylay’s Corn Maze, and Pumpkin Blasters.


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