Man Wins California Pumpkin Contest With Gargantuan 2,560-Pound Gourd

by Tia Bailey
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It’s October, which means it’s time for all things fall. This includes, of course, giant pumpkin-growing contests. A huge gourd this year has set a record.

Travis Gienger from Anoka, Minnesota brought a 2,560-pound pumpkin to California. His gourd set a new U.S. record.

“Minnesota has a great midyear, but our spring in our parts is really, really tough. So to do it in Minnesota, it just shouldn’t happen,” Gienger said. “It’s like winning the Tour de France on a big wheel. You know, you can only hope, but it worked.”

Gienger spoke about hauling the pumpkin 35 hours to Northern California to participate in the 49th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay — the same contest he won in 2020.

“You think driving in a snowstorm is bad? Try driving one of these things,” he said.

A record was set last week in New York at 2,554 pounds. Gienger’s pumpkin broke that record by 4 pounds.

Man From Illinois Grows Biggest Pumpkin in the State

Joe Adkins, an Illinois resident, recently grew a huge pumpkin and placed it outside of his house.

Adkins loved carving pumpkins, and decided to get into growing as well.

“With the carving aspect, I wanted to get into bigger and bigger mediums so I decided I’d have to grow them to get to the size that I wanted to carve,” Adkins said to ABC 7 Chicago. “1760 was enough to give us the first place this year, so we were happy.”

The publication shared a photo of the pumpkin to their Instagram page, captioning the image: “Good gourd, that’s a big pumpkin! A Wheaton man carves a place in the history books by growing the biggest pumpkin in Illinois!”

Adkins shared that at its peak, the pumpkin was growing up to 40 pounds a day. Additionally, for three months, it was taking 150 gallons of water every 24 hours.

The publication had several pumpkin admirers comment on the pumpkin.

“I was kinda shocked when I saw it. I was like this is really cool here, I’m surprised they don’t have it in front of the fairgrounds,” pumpkin admirer Tracy Delph said.

Another admirer was riding his bike past Adkins’ house when he was shocked by the giant pumpkin.

“I think this might be one of his biggest ever,” pumpkin admirer Kurt Reidenbach shared. “This guy always seems to have the biggest pumpkins, so he’s got some kind of secret sauce.”

Adkins isn’t keeping the pumpkin-growing skills to himself. He has been mentoring 10-year-old Andrew Engel.

“I’ve been growing since I was seven, and so he has been mentoring me and he has been helping me,” the young pumpkin-grower said. “I just feel like it’s cool because no other kid in my grade grows pumpkins and I feel like it’s really cool.”