Weekly Feature



2018-10-10 / Front Page

Haist gets state record for largest pumpkin at World Pumpkin Weigh-off


Karl Haist of Clarence Center shows off his state record-setting pumpkin, weighing 2,027 pounds. Haist took home first prize at the Great Pumpkin Farm’s annual “World Pumpkin Weigh-off” on Sept. 30. Karl Haist of Clarence Center shows off his state record-setting pumpkin, weighing 2,027 pounds. Haist took home first prize at the Great Pumpkin Farm’s annual “World Pumpkin Weigh-off” on Sept. 30. Karl Haist of Clarence Center has continuously kept alive the town’s tradition of producing quality agricultural talent.

On Sept. 30, Haist showcased his pumpkin acumen yet again in record-setting fashion.

At the Great Pumpkin Farm’s 2018 World Pumpkin Weigh-off, Haist’s pumpkin set a New York state record, weighing in at 2,027 pounds.

The previous record holder, Andy Wolf of Little Valley, New York, had a winning pumpkin last year weighing 1,971 pounds.

Haist took home the grand prize of $2,500 plus a $1,000 bonus for a pumpkin weighing more than 2,000 pounds. There were 14 entries in this year’s competition.

Haist is no stranger to giant pumpkins or records. In 2014, he set state records for the largest pumpkin weighing

1,969 pounds. The pumpkin was then a state record, beating the record of 1,725 pounds that Haist set at a central New York pumpkin festival in Oswego one day earlier.

He won the competition again in 2015 and 2016, when he took first-place honors with a pumpkin weighing in at 1,964.5 pounds.

A competitive grower for more than 15 years, Haist has been known for the unusual growing technique of fertilizing with chicken manure from the nearby Kreher’s Egg Farm.

Since 1996, when it first hosted the World Pumpkin Weigh-off and was included in the Guinness World Records for the first 1,000-pound pumpkin, the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence has grown extensively.

Its annual Fall Festival now includes such popular events as Oinktoberfest, the Pumpkin Trebuchet competition and the Pumpkin Farm Olympics.

The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival runs every day from 10 a.m. to dusk until Halloween. Admission is free non-holiday weekdays, and includes hay rides, face painting and more.

The weekend admission price of $5 includes free parking. Discounted tickets are available at Wegmans. Complete event information at www.GreatPumpkinFarm.com.

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