The first-place winner was a 1,474.5 lb pumpkin by Donald Crews. – Lucie Roy Photos
by Lucie Roy
The 31st annual Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-Off took place Saturday at Smoky Lake.
Smoky Lake is one of the Weigh-Off Sites of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth for Central and Western Canada.
Smoky Lake welcomed growers of giant pumpkins, squash, long gourds, field pumpkins and watermelons and guests from the region and beyond for friendship, education, food and entertainment, shopping, show and shine and much more to their Weigh-Off and Fair.
The schedule at the arena for the weigh-off began with the parade of growers lead by the Real Celtic Music Players and local piper Milt McCrea.
Opening remarks were provided by Peggy Danyluk, President of the Smoky Lake Pumpkin Growers Association, Glenn van Dijken, MLA Athabasca-Sturgeon River Constituency, Craig Lukinuk, Reeve, Division 3 Smoky Lake County and Hank Holowaychuk, Mayor of Smoky Lake.
New Smoky Lake Field Pumpkin record
The Weigh-Off began with the Field Pumpkins of which there were nine entries. The weight ranged from 31 pounds to a new site record of 191 pounds with a field pumpkin from John Kapelari.
The emcee for the event, A.J. Keller said, “This is a new site record for a field pumpkin.”
He went on to say that with competitions taking place around the world it has yet to be verified if this is the 2nd largest field pumpkin in the world. The largest, as of Saturday, this year is 205 lbs field pumpkin in the Netherlands that was weighed the other day and competitions are still taking place around the world in the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth.
The previous site record was set by Donald Crews in 2016 with a 189 lb field pumpkin.
New Smoky Lake Site Record-Watermelon.
There were five entries in the watermelon category with the smallest at 2 lbs.
The new site record was set by Donald Crews with a 202.5 lb watermelon.
Crews broke his 2012 Smoky Lake site record of 184 lbs and new site record.
There were three entries from the Lobay family. This year the gourd ranged from 58.75 inches to 64.24 inches, with Marie Lobay ranked in first place.
The site record was set in 2016 at 111.25 by Eddie Zaychkowsky.
There were four entries this year.
The first place in the Heaviest Squash was Eddie Zaychkowsky with a squash weighing 809 lbs.
The Smoky Lake site record was set in 2017 by Eddie Zaychkowsky with a 1082 lb squash.
Giant Pumpkin Category
There were 24 entries in this pumpkin category and no site or world record.
The first-place winner was a 1,474.5 lb pumpkin by Donald Crews and second place was Jennifer Zaychkowsky with a pumpkin weighing 1,219.5 and also the recipient of the Howard Dill Award for the Best Looking Pumpkin.
White Knuckle Highway Band
Piping in the growers.