HALF MOON BAY—The Safeway Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off announced that their 47th Heavyweight Championship of Gargantuan Gourds will be held on October 12, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Long Branch Saloon & Farms. They will not allow spectators to attend the event because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Another popular event, Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, which  accompanies the weigh-off competition, has already been canceled.

The official website states, “Participating growers are allowed to have a limited number of family and assistants (max. 4 including grower). Event staff and members of the media will be the only other people allowed on-site.” The event will follow the CDC and San Mateo County Health Department’s rules, and all visitors will be required to use face masks during the weigh-off event; they must also maintain physical distancing from other participants.

The first weigh-off contest was held in 1974 in Half Moon Bay, and the first prize winner will receive the  money that is awarded; seven dollars per pound. According to the website, if the winner breaks the current world record pumpkin, which is 2,624 pounds, he/she will receive “$7 per pound plus a $10,000 bonus mega prize for a new world record plus the difference to get $30,000.” Prize money is sponsored by Safeway Food & Drug.