CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – This Saturday, for the 27th time, Parks Garden Center in Canfield will host the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-off. People from as far away as Minnesota and Tennessee have competed in the past. Earlier Friday, we were there while some of the pumpkins were being dropped off.
Chuck Thacker came from Cincinnati to drop off his giant pumpkin at Parks Garden Center, where the scale has been set up. On Saturday, it’ll be weighed as part of the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-off. Thacker says it starts with a seed, but not just any seed.
“Well, I bought a $75 seed and planted it in the side yard and played all summer long and there it is,” Thacker said.
As Massillon’s Glenna Rea tinkered with the record board, her neighbor Nick Harp unloaded her two giant pumpkins. It took a forklift to get them off his truck. Harp also brought along some of his own.
“I didn’t bring anything real big but I brought a little bit of everything we had. I think I have almost all the categories,” Harp said.
Harp brought with him a long gourde, a giant pumpkin, a field pumpkin and a bushel gourde. But the feature event is the giant pumpkins.
“As giant pumpkin weigh-offs go, a lot of guys, to them, it’s Super Bowl-like because the competition here is so heavy,” said Tim Parks, owner of Parks Garden Center.
The biggest of Glenna Rae’s pumpkins should weigh around 1,850 pounds. Thacker’s will be in the 1,000-pound range.
“The guys who are going to be here later are the 2,500 pounders and all that other stuff. So I’m impressed for this for me but those guys are in a whole different class,” Thacker said.
“You know, it’s really the pinnacle of the gardening world. These are the best growers anywhere,” Harp said.
The world record for a giant pumpkin is 2,702 pounds. It was grown last year in Italy.
“It was from a seed from right here in the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Club,” Parks said.
Reporter Stan Boney: “Are you hoping to someday get the 3,000-pound pumpkin?”
Harp: “Oh, absolutely. Everybody is.”
The giant pumpkin weigh-off begins Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and should continue into the early part of the afternoon.
It’s at Parks Garden Center, halfway between Canfield and Salem on Route 62. The public is welcome.