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Pumpking and Queen Win Barnesville Pumpkin Weigh-Off Again

Photo by Carri Graham – Todd and Donna Skinner of Barnesville stand with their King Pumpkin during Friday night’s King Pumpkin Weigh-Off. The Skinners took home first place for their 1,994-pound pumpkin.

BARNESVILLE – A couple of Barnesville’s seasoned growers took first place in the King Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Friday with their nearly 2,000-pound pumpkin.

Todd and Donna Skinner of Barnesville took home two trophies and nearly $4,000 for their 1,994-pound giant pumpkin. The first-place participants received the King Pumpkin Trophy, Special Great Pumpkin Commonwealth ribbon and $2 per pound. The Skinners also received a Founders Cup trophy for “Heaviest Locally Grown” pumpkin.

Although the 57th annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the King Pumpkin Weigh-Off still commenced Friday evening at Barnesville Memorial Park. The event’s location was undisclosed to the public in an effort to discourage crowds of people from gathering.

The event got underway at 6 p.m. with nearly two dozen entries competing for the title of King Pumpkin. Tim Miller, weigh-off coordinator, said he was expecting a good turnout of contestants due to the pandemic, which has forced many to remain at home.

The Skinners were the final contestants entered into the competition. They are familiar with growing large pumpkin, as they are seven-time festival champions and broke a state record in 2017 when they entered a 2,150-pound pumpkin. Unfortunately, last year the Skinners were unable to complete due to their entry having a hole in it. Any hole in a gourd disqualifies the entry.

“In 2017, an interesting note, Todd and Donna won Gourd of the Year, that’s worldwide. … They grew one at 2,150 and 2,112. They can put the numbers up there, they are super heavy hitters,” Miller said as he introduced the Skinners.

Miller said the Skinners’ King Pumpkin this year was a “beast of a pumpkin.”

“This thing is hanging well over the 4-by-4 scale. We might have to up it to 5-by-5 next year. This is a ginormous giant of a fruit,” he said.

Second place went to Josiah Brandt of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, for his 1,773-pound pumpkin. Brandt received a trophy and a $1,000 cash prize. He drove 12 hours from his hometown to participate in the weigh-off.

Last year’s King Pumpkin champion, Bill Neptune of New Concord, Ohio, placed third this year, receiving a trophy and a $500 cash prize. Neptune’s third-place pumpkin weighed in at 1,724 pounds, beating his 2019 submission by nearly 200 pounds. The three-time winner placed first in 2009, 2010 and 2019.

Fourth through 10th places also received cash prizes and GPC ribbons. The Howard Dill Award for “Best Looking” pumpkin went to Chuck Greathouse of Hartville, Ohio, for his starburst orange pumpkin that weighed in at 1,579 pounds, putting him in fifth place in the contest. Greathouse is also a repeat winner, having placed third in last year’s event.

During the awards ceremony, Miller thanked all those involved including Doan Ford, which sponsored the weigh-off trophies this year.

“We really appreciate all the sponsors this year,” he said.

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