Record-Breaking Pumpkin: How a 2,749-Pound Gourd Swept California’s Weigh-off

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Published on October 11, 2023

In a remarkable twist at the 50th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Half Moon Bay, California, a colossal pumpkin weighing 2,749 pounds clinched the world record title. The event, often likened to the Super Bowl of competitive pumpkin-growing, witnessed a breathtaking showdown that left the crowd astounded.

A Cinderella Moment for Travis Gienger

2,749 pound Pumpkin wins California contest, sets world record for biggest gourd

Travis Gienger, hailing from Anoka, Minnesota, stood on the stage with an orange jacket, gazing nervously at the gigantic pumpkin resting on a scale. Just moments earlier, two other contestants had broken a California record with their 2,497-pound pumpkin. Gienger’s heart was set on clinching the championship, and the anticipation was palpable.

As the announcer hyped up the crowd, exclaiming, "Oh, my god, here we go!" the scale finally revealed Gienger’s pumpkin’s astonishing weight of 2,749 pounds. The crowd erupted into a frenzy, and Gienger, overcome with joy, ripped off his hat, pumped his fists in the air, and embraced everyone on the stage.

Gienger fittingly named his winning pumpkin after basketball legend Michael Jordan, drawing parallels to Jordan’s iconic championship moments with the Chicago Bulls.

Setting a World Record

The jubilation in the air was undeniable as the announcer boomed into the microphone, declaring, "Oh my god, Half Moon Bay is in the record book! That’s a world record!" The classic tune "We Are the Champions" by Queen filled the background, adding to the electric atmosphere.

As a 43-year-old pumpkin-growing enthusiast, Gienger was living a surreal moment. His pumpkin’s weight surpassed the previous record-holder listed by Guinness World Records at 2,702 pounds, held by an Italian grower. Despite several requests, Guinness World Records remained silent on Gienger’s monumental achievement.

The choice to name his pumpkin Michael Jordan was symbolic; Jordan’s jersey number, 23, inspired Gienger as he embarked on his quest to cultivate the world’s greatest pumpkin in the year 2023.

A Gourd-Growing Legacy

Gienger’s journey into pumpkin-growing began with his father, who shared the same hobby. A pivotal moment occurred when a 14-year-old Gienger cultivated a 447-pound pumpkin, igniting his passion for this unique pursuit. His first appearance in Half Moon Bay’s weigh-off was in 2020, and since then, he has notched numerous records at various events. Notably, he achieved the title of the largest pumpkin in North America in the previous year.

Beyond the competition, Half Moon Bay held sentimental value for Gienger because it was where his daughter, Lily, took her first steps one year prior.

With the victory of the 2,749-pound pumpkin, Travis Gienger has etched his name in the history of competitive pumpkin-growing, making this year’s event an unforgettable chapter in the world of colossal gourds.

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The Fascinating World of Competitive Pumpkin-Growing

How did the 2,749-pound pumpkin set a world record?

To set the new world record, Travis Gienger adopted meticulous techniques. He added a remarkable 47 pounds to the pumpkin he nurtured in his own backyard, as per the AP report. Gienger’s success, as he explained to the news outlet, was rooted in his unwavering dedication to the seeds. He gave them extra care, meticulously applying additional fertilizer, and went the extra mile by providing up to twelve rounds of watering per day. These extraordinary measures ultimately led to the awe-inspiring 2,749-pound pumpkin, securing its place in the record books.

Who is Travis Gienger, the grower of the record-breaking pumpkin?

Meet Travis Gienger, a 43-year-old educator hailing from Minnesota. He’s not just any educator but a horticulture and landscape teacher at Anoka Technical College. This unassuming educator accomplished something extraordinary on Monday by shattering the world record for growing the heaviest pumpkin known to humanity. Gienger’s dedication and expertise led to the cultivation of a colossal 2,749-pound pumpkin, securing his place in the annals of pumpkin-growing history.

What was the previous world record for the heaviest pumpkin?

What stood as the previous world record for the heaviest pumpkin, as acknowledged by Guinness World Records, was an astonishing 2,702 pounds. This record-setting goliath was nurtured by Stefano Cutrupi in Tuscany, Italy, back in 2021. Gienger’s track record is equally impressive; he clinched the U.S. record the preceding year with a 2,560-pound pumpkin and achieved remarkable success in 2020 with a 2,350-pound giant.

What is the significance of the Half Moon Bay weigh-off in the world of pumpkin-growing?

The significance of the Half Moon Bay weigh-off in the realm of pumpkin-growing is unparalleled. Hosting the 50th annual event, Half Moon Bay has rightfully earned its title as the "world pumpkin capital." Drawing pumpkin enthusiasts from around the globe, this competition is the ultimate platform for growers to showcase their colossal gourds and vie for the prestigious title of growing the heaviest pumpkin in the world. The event not only celebrates the spirit of friendly competition but also underscores the passion and dedication of growers who cultivate these remarkable giants.

Record for world’s heaviest pumpkin set (again) by Travis Gienger

Travis Gienger Smashes World Record with a 47-Pound Boost

In a remarkable feat, Travis Gienger has once again claimed the record for the world’s heaviest pumpkin. The grower achieved this remarkable milestone by adding an astounding 47 pounds to the pumpkin he nurtured in his own backyard, as reported by the AP. Gienger’s secret to success? Giving his seeds extra care, with additional fertilizer and up to a dozen rounds of daily watering. This extraordinary dedication resulted in a pumpkin that now holds the prestigious title of the world’s heaviest.

Who shattered a world record for a pumpkin?

Travis Gienger: The Record-Breaker

In a spectacular display of talent, Travis Gienger shattered a world record for a pumpkin at the 50th Safeway World Championship in Half Moon Bay, California. His awe-inspiring 2,749-pound pumpkin stole the spotlight, surpassing the previous record set in 2021 by an Italian grower, weighing in at 2,702 pounds, as confirmed by Guinness World Records. Following his victory, Gienger shared his elation, stating, "It feels super good." His secret to success? A question that keeps enthusiasts intrigued.

Who weighed the heaviest pumpkin in 2022?

2022’s Heaviest Pumpkin: Travis Gienger Takes the Crown

In 2022, it was none other than Travis Gienger from Anoka, Minnesota, who tipped the scales with the heaviest pumpkin. At the 49th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California, Gienger’s colossal creation, weighing a staggering 2,560 pounds, not only secured his victory but also set a new U.S. record for the heaviest pumpkin. This achievement marked a remarkable moment in the world of pumpkin-growing.

How much does a pumpkin weigh?

The weight of a pumpkin can vary significantly, with records constantly being shattered. In an astounding feat, Travis Gienger, a horticulture and landscape teacher at Anoka Technical College, set a new world record by growing a pumpkin that weighed a colossal 2,749 pounds. To put this into perspective, Gienger’s pumpkin is approximately as heavy as an adult male walrus, according to an online Alaska Wild fact sheet. The weight of a pumpkin, as showcased by Gienger’s achievement, can truly reach remarkable proportions.

Is there a race to produce the biggest pumpkin?

The Race for the World’s Biggest Pumpkin

While some may view pumpkins as mere vegetables or fruits, for individuals like Mathia Willemijns and a select group of farmers, it’s an exciting race to grow the most enormous pumpkin possible. The question that arises is: what motivates these farmers to strive for the title of producing the world’s best and largest pumpkin? This competitive pursuit within the world of pumpkin-growing adds an intriguing dimension to this otherwise ordinary fruit.

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