Size Matters to a Pumpkin…The Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular: Part 3

While not world-class in size, this was still one heck of a big fellow in comparison to the majority of the other pumpkins at the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular.


This is part three of my seven-day pumpkin carving series where I am featuring the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular of Providence, Rhode Island in leading up to Halloween. Today, my photos will show pumpkins we found in the Asian section of the Spectacular. My content will look at the hot competition that exists to create the world’s largest pumpkin.

It was only a matter of time until someone grew a 2,000 pound/one ton pumpkin. And it was grown in tiny Rhode Island, home of the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, which I have been featuring this week. Ron Wallace accomplished this feat in 2012 with a 2009-pound giant.  He had previously broken the world record in 2006 with a 1502-pound pumpkin. This speaks to how fast pumpkin weight is increasing. The sky is apparently the limit: One article noted that a perfectly round pumpkin could weigh up to 20,000 pounds! No world records were set this year, but a German grower raised a 2,624.6-pound colossus in 2016. His success also gave notice to Americans and Canadians that their dominance in the rather unusual sport of growing giant pumpkins might be at an end.

A quick perusal of the Internet showed me that there is a lot of interest in growing big pumpkins. Knowing the science, having the right seeds and soil, and even naming your pumpkin seems to be important. For example, I learned that you should never name your pumpkin Tiny Tim. It insults the pumpkin and it will refuse to grow. Here’s what an article in the Smithsonian had to say on growing giants: “Keep them at the perfect temperature, give them continuous food and water, protect their delicate skins from drying and cracking, and cover them at night for warmth.” Sounds like advice for raising a baby to me— without the diapers. Genetics are even more important: Big pumpkins come from the seeds of big pumpkins, which come from the seeds of big pumpkins and so on all the way back to Jack Dill who patented a seed in 1981 that he had been working on for 30-years.

Now, if you have a fairy god-mother and some glass slippers, you just might be able to make a pumpkin carriage fit to impress a prince or princess.

Chinese dragons are supposed be good guys, right, as opposed to some of the nasty creatures that were flying around in Europe, like the one St. George tangled with. Still, I would be reluctant to upset this fellow.

Pandas on pumpkin at Jack-0-Lantern Spectacular, Providence, RI

The Asian section of the art-carved pumpkins featured a number of familiar scenes such as these Giant Pandas located beside the Great Wall of China.

Oriental scene on pumpkin at Jack-o-Lanter Spectacular in Rhode Island

A temple.

Mystical Eastern scene on Pumpkin at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular

We really liked the way the moon was used here.

Snow Leopard pumpkin at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Rhode Island

A snow leopard with a Himalayan backdrop.

Pumpkin scene at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, RI

Art-carved pumpkins were usually incorporated into scenes with traditionally carved pumpkins.

Gaggle of Ghouls at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Rhode Island

These fellows stood on their own.

50 plus pumpkins out of 5,000 at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, RI

50 plus pumpkins (including the small ones in the distance) of the 5,000 that were at the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular.

Bad Genie at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Rhode Island

A demon or evil genie, for sure.

Friendly fellow at Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, RI

And a pumpkin that has a ‘caught in the headlights’ look is my final photo of the day..


NEXT POST: We’ll catch up with Hobbits at the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular while I share one of three ghostly tales I will include with this Halloween series. I grew up next to a graveyard, so my young life was filled with ghosts. None was quite as scary as the time my dead father decided to haunt me, however, which will be the the subject of my next post.









21 thoughts on “Size Matters to a Pumpkin…The Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular: Part 3

    • In addition to the skill, I think it takes special tools, Ray. My carving pretty much falls into the traditional carving as well, although I have tried for the effects related to carving different depths into the skin. We loved the pumpkins. Four more days worth are coming! –Curt

  1. They are great!
    I won’t be around for Halloween, so I’m sending this ahead of schedule… if it’s too large, please feel free to delete it. Have a terrific day!

    • In one sense, Suan, since all of the big pumpkins take on a squishy look. But theoretically, it seems the physics would allow for the heavy weight if the pumpkin were round. Nature doesn’t seem to have any objections to growing bigger and bigger pumpkins. Frankly, one ton blows my mind! 🙂 –Curt

  2. I don’t think many people know just how many species of pumpkins there are. My parents had a pumpkin patch each year that they’d open to the public. There are actually pumpkins called fairytale pumpkins that have deep crevices and are a little more squat, like Cinderella’s carriage.

    • A pumpkin for every use! I’ve always known that there were eating and carving pumpkins, Juliann. This year I learned that there a special species for giants. Now you are telling there are many more! Thanks, Juliann. –Curt

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