Pumpkin Weigh-off Results for 2012 (click on this link)
Record squashed at Smoky Lake pumpkin weigh-in
By Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON - Thousands of fairgoers erupted in cheers Saturday when organizers of the pumpkin weigh-in revealed that Ray Beaudin’s squash had smashed the previous year’s record.
Beaudin hauled the mammoth pumpkin from Coalhurst, a small town outside Lethbridge, all the way to the Great White North Pumpkin Fair and Weigh-Off in Smoky Lake.
It weighed in at 1,275.2 pounds, far surpassing the 1,199.2-pound record from 2009.
“When the pumpkins started coming in, we could tell by the size that we were going to be over 1,000 pounds,” said Pat Elaschuk, secretary of the Smoky Lake Pumpkin Growers, noting it was a good growing year for pumpkins.
“We keep the pumpkins behind a curtain to increase the mystique,” she said of the weigh-in. “We weigh the smaller ones first and then move on to the bigger ones.”
Pumpkins over 900 pounds are placed on a pallet and hoisted by machine onto the scale, which has to be taken off the stage and placed on the ground so as not to break the stage.
“First we make people guess,” Elaschuk said. “So people tried to guess how much it weighed.”
When organizers revealed the weight, “it was just a big roar in the crowd, because it’s exciting,” she said.
“Have you seen a 1275.2-pound pumpkin?”
Second-prize winner was Don Crews from Lloydminster, whose pumpkin weighed in at 1,274 pounds, also beating the previous year’s record.
John Lobay had the record-setting pumpkin in 2009, but came in fourth in 2012 with a pumpkin that weighed just 985 pounds. He was disappointed but won’t give up.
“I’ll probably try it again next year … I always want to see if I can get a bigger one,” Lobay said. “I don’t have many secrets, just warm weather and lots of water. They don’t like the cold weather.”
He hauled the pumpkin home on Saturday night and plans to carve it for Halloween.
Then he’ll harvest the seeds and give them away to people who ask, and the pumpkin itself will go back into the garden for compost.