Something special about giant pumpkins captures our imagination. Their massive size pushes the boundaries of reality and transports us to a magical world where anything seems possible. If you’ve never seen a giant pumpkin up close and in person, they are truly a sight to behold. On Saturday, October 13 th (10am – 3pm), giant pumpkin growers from all over the region will haul their larger than life pumpkins to Fort Collins Nursery to compete for $3,500 in cash prizes at the 10th annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off & Fall Jamboree. This FREE family event is a celebration of huge pumpkins and the arrival of fall.
Event-goers can expect to see some enormous pumpkins at this year’s event. In 2017, Fort Collins Nursery’s weigh-off featured 23 eye-popping entries in multiple categories with four of the pumpkins weighing in at over 1,000 lbs. The first place winner grown by Marc Sawtelle of Colorado Springs weighed in at a whopping 1,245 lbs! In 2016, Joe Scherber from Wheatridge, CO claimed the first place prize with a 1,410 lb. giant which also set a Fort Collins Nursery contest record. Hundreds of spectators will be on hand to see this year’s crop brings and perhaps a new record!
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Any giant pumpkin grower will tell you it’s a tedious process to transform a tiny seed into a 1,400 lb. monster and they must dedicate countless time and energy to the process all summer long. The payoff at the end is a sense of accomplishment and a shot at the top cash prize. Chad New, the president of the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers, explains, “I grow giant pumpkins because of the challenge and the thrill. It is a challenge to get a pumpkin to grow 50+ pounds a day (over 2 pounds per hour) but when you get it right it sure is thrilling!”
While the giant pumpkins are the main attraction, The Fall Jamboree features other fun activities for kids of all ages. Event-goers can test their skills at lawn games like Cornhole & Ladder Toss or enjoy tractor hay rides around the beautiful nursery grounds. There is also face painting and pumpkin bowling for the little ones.There will be delicious brats and dogs from Schmickels Hot Dog Cart and a beer tent for those over 21. All proceeds from beer sales benefit The Growing Project and support their mission to promote the value of a strong, diverse, and just local food system to all residents of Northern Colorado through direct agricultural experiences, education, and advocacy.