An Atlantic Giant pumpkin weighing more than a ton won $15,225 in prize money at the 46th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay.
“I started my seed April 10, and the pumpkin itself grew for 120 days,” said Napa resident Leonardo Urena.
In addition to the substantial prize money he won, Urena’s 2,175-pound pumpkin has also earned him a starring role in the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival parade on Oct. 19.
“I may send it to San Francisco after the festival,” Urena said. “I’m going to take it to MarketBar, it’s a restaurant at the Ferry Building, and have it for display.”
After that, he plans to harvest his pumpkin’s seeds and then dry, pack and trade them with other pumpkin growers in hopes of improving the genetics available for other competitive gardeners.
Urena hopes to attract more growers to get involved as well.
“This is such a good sport,” he said. “If anyone wants to grow giant pumpkins, we’ll supply the seeds and a lot of info on how to do it.”
Urena’s victory unseated 2018 champion Steve Daletas, who produced a slightly smaller 2,170-pound pumpkin for last year’s competition.
For more information about the Oct. 19-20 festival, people can call 650-726-9652 or visit the festival’s website.