DAMARISCOTTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The annual Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta is underway in the Mid-coast and as usual, festivities kicked off with the popular pumpkin-growing contest.
Mammoth pumpkins had to be hauled to the scale with a tractor. The gourds all weigh hundreds of pounds but the ribbon winners all topped 1,000 lbs.
Master growers say it all starts with the seed and many of them trade seeds to get genes for the perfect specimen.
It takes half a year of devotion to nurture the prize-winners.
This year's biggest-in-show weighed 1,266 lbs. Grower Edwin Pierpont is excited but he's grown bigger. "It's a great feeling," he says, "I wish it was bigger but I pollinated early and we didn't get great weather so just to get one here... anybody has done well to make it to the end."
Pierpont's two children also won ribbons with their gourds.
Some of the winners, like the Pierponts, will carve their pumpkins into tremendous jack-o-lanterns. Others will be hollowed out and turned into boats for next week's regatta.
Pumpkinfest wraps up October 14th.