OSWEGO, NY – It was a long day. But Steve and Jean Marley didn’t mind.
The Clinton, NY, residents claimed the 2015 Great Pumpkin crown with a 1,543.5-pound entry.
While it wasn’t as hefty as Karl Haist’s 1,725.5-pound winner in 2014, Steve said it was a personal best.
“Oh yeah, personal best,” he exclaimed. “We did it as a team, teamwork. Personal best by 500 pounds.”
Haist was a close second this year with a 1,533.0-pound pumpkin.
“Our ground is as hard as can be this summer. I dug it out about a foot and a half,” Steve explained. “Then, I put my own mix of top soil in and watered it and babied it.”
A few other entries topped the 1,000-pound plateau.
Due to the size, the hardest part is getting the giant pumpkins out of the garden, one grower quipped.
“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,” Haist said. “It happens. It makes you sick, especially something that big. You have to be careful. Mice don’t pick on the little ones!”
The start of the weighing was delayed nearly two hours due to mechanical problems with the scale. The same problem popped up later in the day causing several pumpkins to be re-weighed to ensure their correct weight was recorded.
The festival continues Sunday in Washington Square (East Park) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Best Pumpkin Pie Contest Judging – 11 a.m.
Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest – 11:30 a.m.
Scarecrow Judging Contest noon
Kenzie Chapman – noon – 2 p.m.
Sophie Woods Music – 3-5 p.m.
Find more information about Pumpkinfest here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1434023613577714/