Even though high water forced events into nearby parking lots, this year's Harvest Fest once again drew large crowds to Stillwater's riverfront. The 13th annual edition featured a scarecrow contest, chili cook-off, kids costume parade, kids tractor pull, pie eating contest, face painting, kids games, live music, pumpkin regatta, tipi living exhibit, 5K, beer garden, vendor market, battle to paddle competition, giant pumpkin drop and the main event, the giant pumpkin weigh-off.
The Harvest Fest weigh-off is the premier Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) sanctioned event in the Upper Midwest taking place each fall on the second Saturday of October. Coordinated by the St. Croix Growers Association, it attracts giant pumpkin growers from all over the Midwest and beyond.
This year's weigh-off set the world record for the average weight for the top 10 pumpkins at 1,912 pounds per pumpkin. This year's first place giant pumpkin belonged to New Richmond's own Pete Midthun weighing in at 2,091 pounds. Midthun took home $5,000 for his first place giant. This year's weigh-off awarded $25,000 in prizes to the winning growers of a variety of giant vegetables.
The St. Croix Grower's Association (SCGA) is a non-profit giant pumpkin club representing the Minneapolis/St. Paul greater metro area. Serving competitive gardening enthusiasts across the upper Midwest, their mission is to promote the hobby of giant pumpkin culture through organization, service and education. For membership information and to learn more about how to grow a giant pumpkin, visit www.stcroixgrowers.org.