Mega Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay - NBC Bay Area
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Mega Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay

Did you grow a gigantic gourd? No? You can still admire the epic action at the annual Safeway showdown.

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    Mega Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay
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    Pumpkins on forklifts? It's a common sight during the judging of the most beautiful pumpkin category at the Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    IT CAN BE DIFFICULT... to pinpoint the smallest, most incremental changes in our lives, due to that whole aforementioned "incremental" thing going on. That's the nature of something that changes slowly, with time, with the seasons, with care, love, attention, and magic: When the thing in question crosses an important threshhold, no bells or whistles ring. And so it goes with the growing of gigantotron pumpkins. One day, they're wee, so very bitsy, and you feel as though they'll stay that way the whole summer through. And then? You're ringing your friends, asking for a pickup truck, or maybe even a forklift, and you're pondering how to get this giant you grew to the state fair, or a special event, and keep it looking as mighty and as marvelous as it does in your garden. When did the incremental change happen, the one that made it just an ounce too heavy to lift on your own? It's a topic best left to growers of huge pumpkins, perhaps, but we pumpkin-admiring people can ponder that subject on...

    MONDAY, OCT. 9: That's when The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off returns to Half Moon Bay, summoning, as it does, a group of stem-rocking behemoths that'll all easily register some truly astounding numbers on the scales. It's the 44th annual showdown, the top "mega-prize" for a world record breaker is $30,000, and the gourds'll 100% astound. The top pumpkin in 2016 weighed 1,910 — cheers to winner Cindy Tobeck — and a total of seven competitors made it past the 1,000-pound mark. Ever seen such great seedy spectacularness all in one spot? True, the Art & Pumpkin Festival doesn't roll before Oct. 14 and 15, but an early, Oct. 9 stop-by the city will give full-on gourdians something to gawk about. If you can't do a Monday, though, keep in mind that some of the biggies will cameo at the festival later in the week, so phew.

    NOW, we just need to think of a name for a group of huge pumpkins, which is what visitors will see that day. Maybe "a pulp"? Or "a stem"? Whatever you call a grouping of sizable squash, know that the whole weigh-off starts early, as in 7 a.m., so rise early and pick up that pumpkin latte or pumpkin tea before the weigh-in, big-number'd excitement begins.