Growers of grand gourds are gathering in Half Moon Bay Monday at the 46th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.
The official weighing will be from 7 to 11 a.m. on the IDES Grounds at 735 Main St. in Half Moon Bay.
Forklifts and harnesses will be used to delicately place pumpkins, a 5-ton capacity digital scale, with proceedings assessed by officials from the San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner's Office of Weights, Sealers, and Measures.
The winning pumpkin will win a prize of $7 a pound from event organizers and sponsor Safeway.
The defending Half Moon Bay champion is Steve Daletas, whose 2,170-pound pumpkin in 2018 won.
"To receive the $30,000 world record prize, the grower must break and hold the world record at the conclusion of the Half Moon Bay weigh-off," organizers said in an announcement. "If two or more growers happen to break the world record at Half Moon Bay, the prize money would go to the grower of the heaviest pumpkin. The current world record is 2,624-pounds set in 2016 at a weigh-off in Germany."
A separate $1,000 prize will be awarded for Most Beautiful Pumpkin, as judged by audience members based on color, shape and size.
The weighing event is the kickoff to Half Moon Bay's Art & Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 19 and 20.
The champion pumpkin will be on display at the festival.
For information on the weigh-off and festival, call 650-726-9652 or visit www.miramarevents.com.