Giant Pumpkin Wins Weight Competition


Sophia Zafra, Author

Everyone loves the familiar scent of crumpled leaves and fresh, crispy air, marking the beginning of fall. Many farmers love to start off the season of autumn by starting to prepare their pumpkins, for a weigh-off contest. The competition was in Half Moon Bay, California, on October 10, the 49th contest to take place. Travis Gienger is a landscape business owner at a technical college, who also grew a pumpkin in hope of winning the 2022 prize. His hard work and dedication were most definitely worth it since he won with his 2,560-pound gourd, winning the Californian competition and setting a new record for America.

However, it did not beat the world record, made in Italy, by a 2,703-pound pumpkin. Other than that, Gienger received $9 per pound, adding up to a grand sum of $23, 040 of prize money. Gienger barely beat a 2,554-pound squash, with his large pumpkin, named “Maverick”.

Travis Gienger planted the pumpkin 6 months before the competition, checking on it daily with fertilization and attentive watering. Still not impressed by Gieger? He has also won the competition multiple times, winning the 2020 competition for Pumpkins by the Pound and even winning the Jack-o-Lantern Contest with his carved pumpkin, called “Pumpkin King”. The pumpkin had a massive and fierce painted face, winning for its long circumference. The 42-year-old has had many accomplishments for his dedication, which he deserved.

Runner-up, Steve Daletas received $3,000 in the competition, with his 2, 425 lb. pumpkin, falling short of about 129 pounds from Gienger. Ruben Frias also entered with a 2, 118 lb. pumpkin, finally placing third and claiming close to $2,500. Pumpkins are most definitely a vital part of autumn, and many families enjoy the tradition of decorating pumpkins together.