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Annual world pumpkin weigh-off to highlight Fall Festival at Great Pumpkin Farm

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Tue, Sep 26th 2017 12:05 pm
Karl Haist of Clarence Center with his award-winning pumpkin.(Photo courtesy of The Great Pumpkin Farm)
Karl Haist of Clarence Center with his award-winning pumpkin.(Photo courtesy of The Great Pumpkin Farm)
Cash prizes to be given out, including $10,000 for a world-record-setting pumpkin
It's that time again - when Western New York will find out if anyone has grown a world-record-setting pumpkin.
Some of the area's - perhaps the world's - heaviest pumpkins will be at the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence this weekend as the annual world pumpkin weigh-off. The event beginning at noon on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Karl Haist of Clarence Center has won the weigh-off the past two years. His first-place pumpkin last year weighed 1,964.5 pounds.
Can that number be topped this year? Will one of the entries be large enough to set a world record - and take home a $10,000 cash prize?
The Great Pumpkin Farm had the first 1,000-pound pumpkin at the 1996 Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival - 1,061 pounds - and it went right into the Guinness Book of World Records. Since then, there have been many pumpkins entered in the Weigh-off well over that weight.
Winners will be announced Sunday as soon as all entries are officially weighed in. The owner of the largest pumpkin at the world pumpkin weigh-off will take home the top prize of $5,000 (with the chance to win twice that amount and earn a world record if his or her pumpkin weighs over 2,000 pounds). Cash prizes will also be awarded for second- through sixth-place. For more information, including rules and a list of previous years' winning entries, visit www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/2017-world-pumpkin-weigh-off/.
Other special attractions during the third weekend of the Fall Festival include:
•Erie County Sheriff's canine demonstrations: Learn how the K-9 team apprehends suspects. Watch as it demonstrates detection skills. Demonstration times Saturday only are at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
•"Sylvia Fletcher & Friends starring in Ventastic!": This comedy ventriloquism show takes place both days at 12:30, 3 and 4:30 p.m. It is free with festival admission.
•Magic by Mike & Annie: This magic experience is full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times Saturday and Sunday are 11:30 a.m., 1, 3 and 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). It's free with festival admission.
As with every year at the Fall Festival, there's a corn maze, hay maze, magic show, "Boo Barn" and amusement rides. Guests can also purchase pumpkins, gourds, mums and cornstalks, and visit the bakery for freshly baked pies, cookies, pastries, candy and cider.
Admission to the Fall Festival is $7 per person. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free. Discounted tickets are available at all Buffalo- and Rochester-area Wegmans.
For more information on the Great Pumpkin Farm and its Fall Festival, visit www.greatpumpkinfarm.com.
The Great Pumpkin Farm is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to dusk through Tuesday, Oct. 31 (closing time on Halloween is 5 p.m.)

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