Springvale resident Charles Aten shows off his second-place pumpkin, left, as well as his father Alan’s first-place pumpkin at the 19th annual P.E.I. Giant Pumpkin Growers Association Weigh Off at Veseys Seeds in York on Saturday. Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
YORK — A father son duo from Springvale took home the first and second place awards at the 19th annual Giant Pumpkin and Squash Weigh Off this past weekend at Vesey’s Seeds.
Alan Aten placed first with his 1,082.5-pound pumpkin, while his 19-year-old son Charles took home second place with 1,061 pounds.
“This would be dad’s fourth time winning now,” said Charles, who added his father couldn’t attend the weigh off because he was at a similar event in Nova Scotia.
Aten has entered the event every year since it began, even hosting the weigh off at his Christmas tree farm in Springvale until 2010.
Alan’s 870-pound squash also won first place in its category on Saturday. Angus Mellish won the first time growers class with his 356-pound pumpkin.
The weigh off featured a number of other events including displays, a pie-eating contest, raffle draws and a number of other family-oriented activities.
Gordon Aten, president of the P.E.I. Giant Pumpkin Growers Association, said the weigh-off had a successful year with a number of new growers and a heavier pumpkin than last year’s 1,029-pounder.
“That’s the name of the game,” said Gordon, who added that the event will be celebrating its 20th year in 2013.
He said next year will see the prize money increase from $300 to $500 for first place as well as a number of other changes.
“So people should start planning now,” he said. “Start thinking about getting some seeds, start thinking about getting a good spot in your backyard. Get some manure in there and start planning now, because next year is a big year.”