OSWEGO, NY – The top 10 great pumpkins at the 21st Oswego Great Pumpkin Fest (including one ‘exhibition’) were all more than 1,000 pounds. And the winner dented the scales at 1,598 pounds
Quinn Werner’s behemoth made fellow pumpkin grower and winner of the 2006 fest Eric Gerry of LaFayette exclaim, “That’s the biggest pumpkin I have ever seen in my life!”
Gerry won the 2006 event with a pumpkin that weighed 912.5 pounds. That would have been about 15th place this year.
“The pumpkins are getting bigger and better every year here,” said Connie Cosemento, fest director. “These folks take pumpkin growing very seriously.”
Oswego’s Steve Wescott had a personal best of 1,465.5 pounds. That held the top spot until Wener’s giant came along and relegated it to second place.
Karl Haist of Clarence Center, NY, captured the number three spot with a 1,349.5-pound pumpkin.
Gary Adams was right behind in fourth place with an entry of 1,339.5 pounds.
“This is the heaviest pumpkin we’ve ever had in Oswego,” Cosemento said of Saturday’s winner.
David Schaefer, of Chestertown, set the site record in 2005 with a 1,081.5-pound pumpkin.
Bill Bobier topped that in 2007 with a 1,405.5-pounder.
Werner told Oswego County Today that his record should last “a year or two – maybe.”
Jeremy Robinson of North Tonawanda, broke the state record for squash with a 1221.5 -pound entry Saturday.
Westcott said it was a good and bad season.
“It was good and bad this year. I’ve got the biggest one I’ve ever grown but it seemed like a real hard season. So, go figure,” he told Oswego County Today. He had guessed his would weigh in around 1,300 pounds.
Werner said it was a little bit of luck involved.
“It needed lots of water and a good balance of soil,” he said, adding that he grew “a 1,634-pounder a couple years ago.”
He said he had some other pumpkins to weigh in other competitions that might be in the same range as the Oswego winner.
“It’s a full-time job and requires some tender loving care,” he said.
“It takes a lot of patience, water and some good luck to grow a big pumpkin,” Westcott added. “A bit of luck doesn’t hurt, either.”
Aside from the pumpkin weigh-ins, this year’s festival had dozens of craft and food vendors set up in East Park, as well as a wide variety of goods, music and activities.