Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers

Everybody should grow giant vegetables
-- especially giant pumpkins --
and we're here to help.

Enchanted Giant Pumpkin
Weigh Off

Giant pumpkin growers from Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico are being invited to bring their biggest pumpkins to the Town of Carefree, on October 19, 2019 to earn prize money and have their giant pumpkins carved by master sculptor Ray Villafane and his team of professional artists.

The Enchanted Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off is an official Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) event and is open to all who wish to have their pumpkin officially judged and weighed.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 5 entries; and all entries will be then professionally carved and displayed as part of the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.

The AZGPG will be responsible for collecting the seeds from each pumpkin and returning them to the respective growers.

In May of 2015, the Town of Carefree was looking to hire a pumpkin carver to enhance a newly-planned fall festival. When master carver Ray Villafane arrived, he fell in love with the Carefree Desert Gardens, his imagination running wild with ideas. He saw the Gardens as a perfect organic environment for creativity and the potential to build a sustainable exhibit for families and children. The mayor and town council agreed that Villafane was a perfect fit, and the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden™ was born!

The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden is a one-of-a-kind fall festival celebrating the magic of the Halloween season! The 2019 event takes place October 18-27, with the incredible artistry of Ray Villafane and Villafane Studios’ carvers on display live each day, with their carvings found throughout the four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens. On weekends, this annual event boasts magical Halloween activities for both kids and adults, plus culinary delights and autumnal refreshments including a beer garden, a harvest market, and live music.

Visitors can stroll through the 4-acre Carefree Desert Gardens exhibit every day and discover new whimsical pumpkin characters keeping time with the Carefree iconic sundial, which is the largest sundial in the western hemisphere. Exhibits are changed daily with new carved pumpkins.

For more information regarding the competition, please contact the AZGPG at its email address: GrowEmBig@AZGPG.COM

Enchanted Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off Rules


Requirements for Entering the Giant Pumpkin Class:

A -- This contest is for big squash type pumpkins. Pumpkins grown for competition purposes typically are of the cucurbita maxima species. The Arizona State record is 693 pounds and was set in 2018.

B -- Entries of 100 pounds and over are encouraged, but all are welcome.

C -- Entries for this Class will be accepted from anywhere in the world for the purpose of providing the exhibitor an official weight. The Enchanted Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off is an Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (AZGPG) event and has been approved as an official Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) weigh-off site.

D -- No previously weighed fruit may be considered for competition.

E -- It is recommended that entries register 14 days prior to the scheduled event. In special circumstances, entries in this class will be accepted until one-hour prior to the scheduled start of the event.

F -- Only one official entry is allowed in this class per exhibitor. Other pumpkins entered by the same exhibitor will be considered as exhibition (EXH) and will be officially weighed and exhibited but will not be eligible for premiums or awards. The heaviest pumpkin entered by the exhibitor will be considered the official entry.

G -- If the entry is deemed 100% gray/green in color, the entry will be titled a squash, but will still be eligible for premiums, since the placing is based on weight.

H -- Each pumpkin must be sound, healthy, and undamaged. Entries must be free of rot, holes, and/or cracks through to the interior cavity, chemical residues and serious soft spots. Cracks, holes and opening shall be free of any foreign material. The judges will probe any crack, hole or opening into the pumpkin, which visually appears to extend into the interior cavity. An opening where the probe meets no resistance into the interior cavity will disqualify the pumpkin from the competition. The judges have the right to fully inspect each pumpkin before the official weight is announced. Refusal to allow a thorough inspection of the pumpkin will result in disqualification. The decision of the judges is final.

I -- Chemical residues and soil must be cleaned from the pumpkin surface prior to arrival at the event.

J -- Vines must be trimmed to within one-inch of the stem of the fruit.

K -- Entries must be free of damaged areas that are greater than three (3) inches in diameter and greater than three (3) inches deep. Any single damaged area greater than three (3) inches deep will classify the fruit as damaged (DMG). The dimensions of the damage will be measured after all soft material has been removed with a spoon, if needed.

L -- If there are more than two (2) damaged areas, the pumpkin will be disqualified even if each is smaller than described above.

M -- Small damaged areas are acceptable if naturally healed over with new rind, also known as natural scabs or new cantalouping.

N -- All entries will be judged before being weighed in. The decisions of the judges are final.

O -- Placings and premiums will be awarded based on the final, official weight of all pumpkins clearing inspection by the judges. The heaviest pumpkin is first, second heaviest pumpkin is second, etc. In the event of a tie, the prize money for that placing(s) under it will be combined and split equally.

P -- All entries (unless easily moved by two people) must be on a pallet to facilitate the unloading process.

Q.  The entry fee is $25 per exhibitor. (The fee is collected to offset the cost of maintaining, or renting, the equipment to move, or weigh, the vegetables). The entry fee is waived for paid members of the Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (AZGPG).

For more information regarding the competition, please contact the AZGPG at its email address: GrowEmBig@AZGPG.COM

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