I just got finished watching the largest pumpkin contest at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. A great event. The crowd was riveting. One lady was wearing a bedazzled cowboys hat. There were a lot of school children who you could hear asking how many more were left and if they could leave soon.
The pumpkin festival lasts all week. I'm actually going this weekend so I'll get to see these massive pumpkins in person. The winner of the competition receives six dollars for every pound their pumpkin weighs.
All the talk this year was about Cindy Tobeck's pumpkin from Olympia, Washington. She came into the event super confident. "I'm going to crush it, I just did everything right this year. There wasn't a weed in my patch in this year." Her pumpkin is named Orange Crush (lame) and is projected to be around 1,700 pounds but she is predicting it will tip the scales at over 1,900, which will break the Washington state record. She also rode her pumpkin into the staging area. Super cocky. If she wins she will be the first female victor in over twenty years and the 2nd in the history of the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Competition.
Rob Globus - Walnut Grove, Ca
The final 5 Pumpkins is when the contest started getting real. Our 5th last contestant was Rob Globus from Walnut Grove. They thought he was going to come in at 1400 but ended up with a nice 1600 pounder. The crowd went wild.
Gary Miller - Napa, Ca
Next up was Gary Miller from Napa, Ca.. Gary won this very contest in 2013 so he knows what it takes to win. When asked about his Pumpkin this year he was nothing but disappointment. He was asked how he feels and he said "feels small". Then he said he lost his mind this past month and put his pumpkin on a diet. Bad idea Gary. His pumpkin ended up weighing in at a disappointing 1,496 lbs.
Jim Sherwood - Oregon
The next pumpkin got brought to the stage while Bad Moon Rising by Creedence was playing. That's a hell of a walk up song. I knew this pumpkin was for real. Grown by Jim Sherwood from Oregon. The flip was flipped on the scale and Jim took the lead with a whopping 1,699 pound pumpkin. The power of song.
Russ Pingrey - Santa Rosa, Ca
Now that I know they have walk up songs I've got to take notice. The next Pumpkin, the second to last was brought up while Beautiful Women played so I doubted it even broke 1,000. It's also one of the uglier pumpkins of the weigh-off. Easily the ugliest actually. Grown by Russel Pingrey from Santa Rosa, California. Russ let us know that his pumpkin is 17 feet in circumference. A pound for ever foot of because he weighed in at 1,723. Beating Jim Sherwood's pumpkin by 24 pounds! Now he just needs to hold off Cindy.
Cindy Tobeck - Olympia, Washington
I couldn't make out the walk up song for this one, never a good sign. Cindy's pumpkin is more round than the last one. A little more of a traditional pumpkin shape. Cindy took to the microphone. She told the audience that it was her dream to win the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Weigh-Off. She got her seeds from Rhode Island from last years Northeast Champion. I wonder how much you have to pay for past winners seeds. Is it like horses? Bizarre breeding fees? Cindy wasn't even talking about winning the competition. She had her heart set on the Washington state record.
As we waited for the pumpking to be set on the scale Cindy requested that the crowd start stomping their feet and chanting "we will rock you". Cocky!
The scale was flipped. The crowd held their breath. The numbers flickered. BAM! 1,910 pounds! They started playing We Are the Champions. Cindy stood on top of her pumpkin and started blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. The crowd (about one hundred school children on a field trip) waved back then started following their teacher single file to the bus. What a moment! What a day!. Cindy wins 1,910 x 6 dollars. She also said she sold the pumpkin already for 1,200 dollars. I think that means she's taking home like 12 grand. Kind of cool. She's the best pumpkin showman I have ever seen. She rode the thing in. She started a chant. She won. She stood on top of her winning pumpkin and blew kisses to the crowd. Amazing.
Can't wait to go see Orange Crush in person on Saturday.
All videos and pictures are from @BobNBC
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