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04 October, 2015

SAUGEEN SHORES PUMPKINFEST CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT

One-thousand-pound pumpkins ready for the International Weigh-Off scales.  One of the "giants" had a runny nose.
Jeff Warner, Pumpkinfest second prize winner, ready to hall his 1,683-pound pumpkin back home to Englehart, ON.
The 29th annual Saugeen Shores Pumpkin Fest in Port Elgin this weekend drew at least 50,000 visitors.  As always, the event was highlighted by stiff competition for the largest pumpkin, field pumpkin, squash, tomato, watermelon, and cabbage; in addition to the tallest corn stalk and sunflower plant.

Talented Adam Martin of Wawa, ON.
carves into a 200 lb. squash.
Todd Kline of Shawville, Quebec, captured the heaviest pumpkin crown for the second year in a row with a giant entry that weighed in at 1,733.5 pounds, two pounds shy of the Pumpkinfest record set in 2012.  Second prize went to Jeff Warner of Englehart, Ontario, whose entry tipped the scales at 1,683.2 pounds. Jeff also walked off with the tallest sunflower, measuring 287 inches.

Growers competed for a prize package of $16,000 from the Pumpkinfest organization with another $10,000 available to win courtesy of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. Doug Court of Port Elgin was the original organizer of the festival and continues to be a competitive grower.

The Cinderella's Carriage Classic Car Show, one of Ontario's largest, is held annually in conjunction with Pumpkinfest.  It is sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation with hundreds of antique cars and trucks lining the blocked-off main street in Port Elgin.  The Grey Bruce Touring Club's Motorcycle Show is also a popular attraction each year.

Harley, a fully grown three-pound toy Chihauhua seen blow, sat pretty (about three seconds) during Pumpkinfest dog show obedience drills on Sunday.  Harley's attention span was too short to qualify for a prize, but he didn't seem to care!  He was just happy to get a treat when it was all over. 


The two-day, award-winning festival also included a Pumpkinfest Village midway, product exhibitors, food vendors, a craft show, petting zoo and non-stop entertainment.  The local legion branch regularly hosts a breakfast for about 400 people and a Saturday night turkey and ham dinner is held at the downtown Port Elgin United Church.  A team of 150 volunteers is required to staff the event each year.

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