2011-09-29 / News

Annual pumpkin championship next weekend

The public is invited to the 18th annual Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Championship on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Frerichs Farm in Warren. Unloading of the biggest pumpkins grown in the area will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the weigh-off scheduled for noon. In case of rain, the championship will take place on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Refreshments will be available, a “pumpkin coach” will shuttle people around, and a giant pumpkin drop will take place at 11:30 a.m. 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 18th consecutive year that the contest has been held.

“The Giant Pumpkin Championship offers a great opportunity for Rhode Island families to spend time outdoors at a beautiful farm in the East Bay,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “In addition to being fun, these agri-tourism events promote sustainable local agriculture, both supporting our farmers and providing healthy and delicious produce for Rhode Islanders.”

At last year’s contest, Steve Sperry of Johnston had the largest Rhode Island-grown pumpkin weighing in at 1,520 pounds.

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 245-8245.

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