Leonardo Urena of Napa captured the day Saturday at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival Weigh-Off. His pumpkin weighed in at 1,938 pounds, beating his personal record by one pound.
Urena has been competing in the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off for 20 years. He also took the title in 2005 and 2011.
Urena said he was excited to see the final weight. “I was kind of surprised when it hit the scale and it was ’19.’ It was wonderful.”
Urena won $7,000 for his best-of-show entry.
Three other Napa growers took second through fourth place.
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Jose Cardenas of Napa took second place with a pumpkin weighing 1,728 pounds. Urena and Cardenas grow their gargantuan gourds in the same pumpkin patch. Cardenas won $4,000.
Ruben Frias won $3,000 with his 1,594-pound pumpkin and John Hawkley won $2,000 with his 1,593-pounder.
Urena will harvest the seeds from his winner to replant next year or give away to other growers.
He encourages others to get involved in pumpkin growing because “it is a great sport. Come and join us!”
The Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival is organized by the Cosumnes Community Services District Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with many sponsors. A portion of festival proceeds benefit local youth and service organizations. In 2018, the festival attracted an estimated 60,000 guests.