Headingley gets pumpkin fever with first annual growing contest

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s definitely pumpkin season, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a community where the orange squashes are a ‘bigger’ deal right now than Headingley, Man.

The community is wrapping up its first annual pumpkin-growing contest, looking for the biggest pumpkin Headingley has to offer.

Headingley Community Foundation vice-chair Jill Ruth told 680 CJOB the contest was a last-minute idea in the summer to bring the community together for a fall event.

“Our chair had this idea in the first week of June, which is a little late for planting pumpkins, but she acquired 200 seeds and distributed them through the community — and the community went to work,” she said.

“We have some prizes to give away, but based on the buzz in the community, not too many people are all about the prize — most of it’s about family getting together and working together in the garden, and watching the pumpkin grow every day.

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“It’s been really sweet.”

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Unfortunately for many would-be pumpkin champs, the summer drought conditions — combined with area deer snacking on the plants as they grew — resulted in a number of people having to pull out of the competition, but there are between 15 and 17 Headingley residents still vying for the title.

“We had started with about 75 participants, but unfortunately it was a bit of a tough summer with the drought and the heat,” said Lisa Krishka of Phoenix Recreation Association, which is presenting the event alongside the foundation.

“We (still) have a few contenders. It’s the first year, and I think everyone hit the ground running when we announced we were doing this. I think we had a lot of novice growers, and there are some rumblings about what people might do next year.

“We have a great community, and as everyone knows, it’s been a long year and a half. A lot of people are just looking for something fun to do as a family, so it’s been a great response.”

Judging for the contest takes place next week.

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