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September 23, 2018

Haist Claims Oswego Pumpkin Crown – Sets State Record … Twice


UPDATE Sunday October 5

The state record set Saturday at the Great Pumpkin Fest in Oswego was short-lived.

It was broken Sunday – by a familiar name.

Karl Haist of Clarence Center pulled off a pumpkin double play over the weekend.

His 1,725.5-pounder placed first in Oswego on Saturday. On Sunday he set a new state record at the World Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Clarence with his 1,969-pound entry.

Original Article Below

OSWEGO, NY – As Mother Nature’s rain ended Saturday afternoon, Karl Haist’s reign was just beginning.

Haist, of Clarence Center, NY, won the 2014 edition of the Annual CNY Great Pumpkin Festival with an entry tipping the scales at 1,725.5 pounds.

Karl Haist holds a sign proclaiming his pumpkin as the new New York State record.

Karl Haist holds a sign proclaiming his pumpkin as the new New York State record.

Not only is it the Oswego top pumpkin, but it’s also the new New York State record.

“I’m kind of surprised. I knew it was real big but I didn’t think it was this heavy,” Haist told Oswego County Today. “It feels good to have the state record, too!”

He pollinated the award winner around the first of May. Then, it was a nervous few months’ wait until the pumpkin was ready for its journey to Oswego.

“You go out every day and you take the blankets off and you’re just looking for a crack or a blowout or damage from mice,” he said. “It happens. It makes you sick, especially something that big You have to be careful. (The mice) don’t pick on the little ones!”

“I’ve been coming up to Oswego for around 10 years now. I enjoy it,” he said. He found “Great Pumpkins” while doing a search on the computer and got hooked, he explained.

Gary Adams'  1,612.5 -pound entry was good enough for second place this year.

Gary Adams’ 1,612.5 -pound entry was good enough for second place this year.

He plans on sharing the seeds from his winner with some of the other growers.

“We trade back and forth,” he said.

In 2012, Gary Adams of LaFayette, NY, finished fourth with a 1339.5-pound pumpkin.

This year, his entry weighed in at 1,612.5  It was very good but not a personal best.

“I’ve had a 1,613.0 before,” he said, adding, “I am very surprised this year’s is so heavy. You can guess, but you never know for sure until they hit the scales.”

As Haist’s hefty pumpkin was being lowered onto the scales several guesses were being made as to its weight. Figures ranged from 1,700 pounds to 1,650 pounds.

“I’m going to say 1,720 pounds,” Haist estimated. “You like to be conservative. You don’t want to get your hopes up too high.”

Haist isn’t any stranger to the winner’s circle in Oswego.

In 2011, he had the number 1 squash at 1,124.0 pounds. In 2012, his pumpkin came in at number 3 at 1,349.5 pounds and he also had the number 2 squash at 940.0 pounds.

Emma DeLong adds a few pounds as her entry is weighed in exhibition.

Emma DeLong adds a few pounds as her entry is weighed in exhibition.

He was knocking at the door in 2013 coming in second (1,264.0 pounds) just behind Andy Wolf’s 1,461.5-pound pumpkin and in front of Jeff Alberts’ 1,229.0-pound entry.

Emma DeLong grew a huge cabbage for a school project in Minetto Elementary.

It is the same type that the late Paul Hammond used to grow in Scriba, her mother explained.

“When he died, no one could find the seeds. But we found some of the seeds. They’re just little dots,” she said. “We looked it up and found out how to grow them from our own seeds, it takes two years.”

The festival continues Sunday in Washington Square (East Park) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m..

There will be food vendors crafters, fresh from the farm produce, music, games and rides for children of all ages, and of course … pumpkins.

The giant pumpkins were on display Saturday only.

Great Pumpkin Festival – CNY – Results 2014

A few of the pumpkin fans who braved the weather to watch the weigh-in.

A few of the pumpkin fans who braved the weather to watch the weigh-in.

Top 11 Pumpkins:
1.    1,725.5    Karl Haist    , Clarence Center, NY
2.    1,612.5    Gary Adams, Lafayette, NY
3.     1,425.5    Jeffery Alberts, Memphis, NY
4.    1,416.0    Mike MacDonald, Quebec
5.    1,280.0    Ray Fletcher, Ontario, NY
6.    1,279.0    Alan Nesbitt, Conesus, NY
7.    1,206.0    Andy Wolf, Little Valley, NY
8.    1,085.5    Matt VerSchneider, Freeville, NY
9.     1,081.0    John Miller, Cortland, NY
10.    1,071.5    Steve Marley, Clinton, NY
11.    1,020.0    James Hazeltine, NY

Top Squash:
1.     621.0  Brian Staring, Waterville, NY
2.     105.0  Gary Adams, Lafayette, NY

Top Watermelon:
1.        74.0  Brian Kibler, Mt. Morris, NY
2.        58.0  Andy Wolf, Little Valley, NY
3.        23.0  Gary Adams, Lafayette, NY

Top Field Pumpkins:
1.     1,25.5  Karl Haist, Clarence Center, NY
2.      109.0  Steve Westcott, Oswego, NY
3.        85.0  Alan Nesbitt, Conesus, NY
4.        61.0  Andy Wolf, Little Valley, NY

Top Tomatoes:
1.    5.75  Steve Marley, Clinton, NY
4.43  Steve Marley, Clinton, NY
4.13  Steve Marley, Clinton, NY
2.    3.39  Steve Westcott, Oswego, NY
3.    2.48  Brian Kibler, Mt. Morris, NY

Long Gourd:
1.   Gary Adams, Lafayette, NY

Special Categories:

Farthest Away Grower – Mike MacDonald, Quebec
Roto-tiler drawing –     Jeff Albert, Memphis, NY
Largest Oswego County Pumpkin – Steve Westcott, Oswego, NY
Howard Dill Award (prettiest pumpkin) –     Ray Fletcher, Ontario, NY
Heaviest pumpkin to chart – N. A.
Drawing Over 1,000     – Steve Marley, Clinton, NY
Drawing Under 1,000 – Tim Brumaghim,    Cobbleskill, NY

The two-day event also features a wide variety of entertainment and activities including:

Air Hops, and Face Painting for the kids
Arts and Crafts Vendors
Carnival Rides and Games
50 / 50 Drawing

In addition there will be live performances each day.

Entertainers scheduled to perform include:

Sophie Woods – throughout the day Sunday
Irish Step Dancers – 2 p.m. Sunday
Open Hand Puppets courtesy of ARTSwego Performing Arts Series – Sunday

This year’s CNY Great Pumpkin Festival hosts three new events:

Pumpkin Pie Contest – The contest featured two categories, one for individual community members and one for restaurants and bakeries.

Pumpkin Carving Contest – In an attempt to break the official record for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one location, a record currently held by the Keene, NH, Pumpkin Festival with a total 30,581 jack-o-lanterns, school age children are encouraged to enter as many jack-o-lanterns as they like. Entries were accepted all day Saturday and until noon on Sunday at the chamber booth. Pumpkins will be available to purchase at the chamber booth for those wishing to submit their entry on Sunday.

The Golden Pumpkin Award will be presented to the restaurant / eatery that offered the most unique pumpkin themed menu item the week prior to the CNY Great Pumpkin Festival.

Prize winners will be announced Sunday afternoon.

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