785-pound Vernon gourd the real pumpkin king

The Great Pumpkin Classic continues this weekend with unusual race

Farmers and those blessed with a serious pair of green thumbs weighed their prized pumpkins on Saturday at Davison Orchards to kickoff the Great Pumpkin Classic.

“When we said ‘giant’ pumpkins,’ we didn’t realize some of them would be gargantuan,” the City of Vernon said on social media.

The largest pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 785 pounds.

But now, the prized gourds will be transformed into watercraft that will race across the waters at Kin Beach on Saturday, Oct. 26. And the whole thing will be caught on camera by EBS Documentary, a film crew from South Korea.

City of Vernon communications manager Christy Poirier said the foreign film crew’s interest in the area is “just one example of how Vernon is recognized as a four-season playground.” And it underscores the hard work put in by the Tourism Vernon team, “year-round to promote our great region.”

“Since January, local growers have been nurturing giant pumpkins—meaning pumpkins that weigh at least 100 pounds—and now their work is about to pay off,” Tourism Vernon manager Ange Chew said.

These proud pumpkin parents can decide whether they’d like to keep their gourd or hollow it out and transform it into a boat for the Great Vernon Pumpkin Race.

Green-thumb growers can even opt to give it to someone else to race in the event co-sponsored by John Deak Realty.

If extra pumpkins are available before the race, they will be offered for corporate sponsorship for $500 per pumpkin. All funds will go towards the Vernon Starfish Pack program—a project started by the Rotary Club.

Paddles and wetsuits will be provided by Elements Adventures and a safety canoe will be nearby in case some unlucky pumpkins can’t stay afloat.

Following the fun of the pumpkin race—which takes off at 1 p.m. on Saturday—the gourds will be composted or delivered to the bunny and donkey sanctuary as sweet treats.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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The Great Vernon Pumpkin Race will be held at Kin Beach on Oct. 26, 2019. (Tourism Vernon)

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