PROVIDENCE -- The public is invited to the 20thth annual Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Championship on Saturday, October 12 at Frerichs Farm in Warren. Unloading of the biggest pumpkins grown in the area will begin at 9:30 a.m. The weigh-off will begin at 12 p.m., and the winning pumpkin will be weighed at approximately 3 p.m. In case of rain, the championship will take place on Sunday, October 13.
Refreshments will be available, a "pumpkin coach" will shuttle people around, and corn and hay bale mazes will challenge adults and children alike. The ever-popular "pumpkin drop" will highlight the start of the event. There will be pumpkin-painting booths for the kids and numerous tents with seasonal arts and crafts, gifts, and products available for purchase. It is recommended that the public bring lawn chairs or blankets on which to sit during the weigh-off.
The always-popular event is sponsored by the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Association, the Department of Environmental Management's Division of Agriculture, and Frerichs Farm and Greenhouses to determine the largest pumpkin grown in the area each year and to crown an annual local champion. This is the 20th consecutive year that the contest has been held.
"The Giant Pumpkin Championship is one of the most popular events of the season and offers a great opportunity for families to spend time outdoors at a gorgeous farm in the East Bay," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Rhode Islanders, here's your chance to see some of the biggest, most beautiful giant pumpkins grown anywhere! Mark your calendars and head down to Frerichs Farm in Warren for this fun-filled event. You'll have a great experience, and at the same time you will help support our local farmers and sustainable agriculture in Rhode Island."
At last year's contest, Ron Wallace of Greene had the largest Rhode Island-grown pumpkin weighing in at 1,872 pounds. Ron also grew the world-record pumpkin in 2012 weighing in at 2,009 pounds; this pumpkin was shown at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. Wallace's world-record pumpkin was the first pumpkin every grown in the world that topped one ton.
Frerichs Farm charges a $5 parking fee for the event. Those interested in competing in this year's event or receiving additional information should contact Barbara Frerichs at (401) 245-8245. In case of rain, please call Frerichs Farm to confirm the date of the event.