Allardt, Tenn., a tiny spot on the map I’d never heard of before this year, has an amazing claim to fame: It is the home of the official pumpkin (and other giant veggies) weigh off.
We were passing through on a short road-trip when we noticed a really cool water tower in Allardt and, of course, had to turn around and take photos. The orange bulb of the tower is stenciled with “Allardt: Home of the Giant Pumpkins” and the “stem” is painted green.
When we arrived home, I researched this unusual claim to fame and learned Allardt, population about 600, hosts and annual Great Pumpkin Festival each October and acts as an official weigh-off in the giant vegetable competition.
The website for the festival says: “Thousands of festival goers will flock to this favorite fall event, drawn by giant vegetables, plus a spectacular region-wide auto show, food and craft vendors in Bruno Gernt Park, live entertainment on-stage at City Hall, a Pumpkin Run, motorcycle and tractor shows, a parade at 3 p.m. (Central), and a children’s costume contest (10 a.m.). Pooch Parade, a dog costume contest and this year’s new event, will present at 4:30 p.m. as the final onstage program, sponsored by Best Friends Sanctuary.”
NOTE: Be sure to check the website before attending. Remember, in these uncertain times of COVID-19, events can be cancelled on short notice.
According to the website, last year’s largest pumpkin weighed 1,491 pounds. Believe it or not, that is only about half the size of the Guinness World Record holder, which weighed 2,624 pounds in 2016. The 2019 festival also saw a 625-pound green squash and a 321-pound watermelon. Click here for more info.