World record for largest pumpkin: 2,749-pound pumpkin wins California contest

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — A Minnesota horticulture teacher set a California world record Monday for the heaviest pumpkin after growing a giant pumpkin weighing 2,749 pounds (1,247 kilograms).

Travis Ginger of Anoka, Minn., won the 50th World Pumpkin Weighing Championship in Half Moon Bay, Calif., with a huge, lumpy, orange pumpkin that could produce at least 687 pies.

“I didn’t expect this. It was an amazing feeling,” said Ginger, 43, who has been growing pumpkins for nearly 30 years. Last year he set a new U.S. record for growing giant pumpkins.

The previous world record for heaviest pumpkin was set by a farmer in Italy who produced a pumpkin weighing 2,702 pounds (1,226 kilograms) in 2021, according to Guinness World Records.

Ginger grows his pumpkins in the pumpkin patch in his backyard. This year, he said, he decided to give his plants extra care, watering them up to 12 times a day and feeding and fertilizing them a little more than usual.

Ginger, a landscape and horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College, has been growing pumpkins since he was a teenager, inspired by his father who also grew pumpkins. He first competed in Half Moon Bay’s annual weigh-in in 2020 and has won three of the city’s last four giant pumpkin contests.

He said: “I put in this work so that I could put a smile on people’s faces, and it is nice to come here to see everyone in this city.”

Pumpkins are transported to be weighed at the 50th Annual World Pumpkin Weighing Championships at Safeway in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Pumpkins are transported to be weighed at the 50th Annual World Pumpkin Weighing Championships at Safeway in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Travis Ginger of Anoka, Minn., lifts his 2-year-old daughter, Lily, from his so-called gourd "Michael Jordan" Before it is weighed in the 50th Annual World Championship Pumpkin Weighing Championship at Safeway in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. A pumpkin grown by Ginger won the event in 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Travis Ginger of Anoka, Minn., lifts his 2-year-old daughter Lily out of his pumpkin named “Michael Jordan” before it is weighed in at the 50th Annual World Pumpkin Weighing Championship in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. A pumpkin planted by Ginger won With the event in 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Pumpkin Champion won a $30,000 prize because he planted the largest pumpkin and set a world record.

The giant pumpkin will be on display in Half Moon Bay alongside the three contestants next weekend when visitors to the city’s Art and Pumpkin Festival will be able to take photos with Gienger and the giant pumpkin.

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