HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) — A Napa man breaks the North American record for heaviest pumpkin with his prize-winning gourd coming in at 2,058 pounds Monday morning during Half Moon Bay’s annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

PHOTO: HMB Pumpkin Weigh-Off 2014

John Hawkley won $13,358 — $6 per pound for his pumpkin plus $1,000 for a state record. His pumpkin was shy of the 238 pounds needed to break the current world record-holding gourd in Germany at 2,296 pounds.

By comparison, a Smart Fortwo car weighs about 1800 pounds, and a Fiat 500 weighs about the same as the German pumpkin — around 2300. Yes, the car is lighter than a pumpkin.


John Hawkley wins the 2014 Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Weigh-Off. (CBS SF)

Last year, Gary Miller of Napa won the competition with a 1,985-pound pumpkin.

The top five heaviest pumpkins from Monday’s weigh-ins will be displayed at this weekend’s festival.

PUMPKINFEST: Check It Out In Person

The pumpkin weigh-off kicks off a week of events culminating in this weekend’s Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival – a pumpkin-themed celebration that includes a Great Pumpkin parade, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving and a plethora of gourd infused food and drink options.

Around 10 a.m., a massive, deep orange pumpkin from Portola Valley had netted the “Most Beautiful Pumpkin” prize, according to the festival’s official Twitter page.

The drought played a role in this year’s competition, since California growers dealt with water restrictions. In many cases, growers decided to plant fewer pumpkins in order to comply with the restrictions.

“It really depends on where you live and what the water restrictions are,” said Russ Pugh, a Santa Rosa-area grower. “We have a 30 percent voluntary reduction, so I grew seven plants instead of 10,” he said, noting that he’s entering the biggest pumpkin he’s ever grown at this year’s weigh-off.

A full listing of Pumpkin Festival events can be found at pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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