CIRCLEVILLE — Despite there not being a 2020 Circleville Pumpkin Show, the Giant Pumpkin Growers Association will still be holding its annual weighing contest and will display the pumpkins at the Pickaway County Fairgrounds afterwards.
The club has 51 members this year and of those that bring pumpkins to be weighed, they’ll have a chance at bragging rights for the largest Pickaway County Pumpkin in 2020.
Bob Liggett, 13-time giant pumpkin champion, which is the most all time, shared some of what he’s gone through to produce a plant that has grown a pumpkin that last measured at around 1,270 pounds with about 50 days to go.
Liggett said part of the fun is to show off pumpkins to other people, something that will be diminished this year due to both the pandemic and the lack of the show.
“I’m not going to get that stimulus as far as the number if people don’t see it,” he said. “Will it affect if I am going to grow next year, probably not, as long as we have one or two of these that make it, we’ll bring them. It’s not quite as much fun, without the people. We’ve not been talking about our pumpkins as much due to COVID.”
Liggett said this year he’s put up extra wind protection and that the season started wet but has since shifted.
“It got very hot and dry and because of that the surface fungus for me has been good; we’ve not had the yellow yucky stuff,” he said. “When the cool damp mornings came we started to get powdery mildew and I’ve started to cut that off.”
Liggett explained they’ve reduced the prizes this year by 30 percent due to not having the show to sell seeds, and with the club’s current funds they can maintain that this year and next year before they run out of money.
“We make our money by selling seeds at the show and we’ve tried to build up a reserve over the years,” he said. “We will have seeds available for sale that morning if people come in and drive by. We don’t figure we’ll sell many but some people have called to ask and we will. They’re the same way they’ve been — four seeds for $5 with a pamphlet.”
The weigh-in will be held on what would have been the Wednesday of Pumpkin Show and the plan is to place the pumpkins on pallets around the oval of the Fairgrounds so people can drive through and still see the grower’s hard work up close. The pumpkins will be there through Saturday morning.
“We’ll have them on the road so people can do the drive by and see the pumpkins,” Liggett commented. “You’ll be able to drive by each pumpkin, see who grew it and how much it weighs.”