Sprouting pumpkin plants that will be available for pick-up in about one week. (Special to The News)

Sprouting pumpkin plants that will be available for pick-up in about one week. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge pumpkin growing contest is getting underway

More than 400 pumpkin plants will be available next week for free contest

The third annual Whonnock Giant Pumpkin contest is just getting started.

More than 400 pumpkin seeds have already been planted and will be ready for pick up in about a week for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to bump Trevor Halliday from top spot.

Last year Halliday took first place with his 434. 6 pound pumpkin. He won the year before as well.

“A giant pumping contest may not sound like a big deal, but if you live in the small community of Whonnock, it’s a very big deal,” said organizer Pascale Shaw.

Halliday and his wife Joanne, who both volunteer at the event, even purchased a special hoist to lift the giant pumpkins for weighing day.

READ MORE: Giant pumpkin growing new tradition in Whonnock

Event volunteers Bruce and Lenore Gabara claimed second place last year with a 244 pound beauty.

“It’s just meant to be a fun community building event,” said Shaw.

“We could all use a little distraction right now, something to help take our minds off of… well, let’s say other things,” continued Shaw, noting gardening and tending to a pumpkin is a great way to unwind and relax.

And, pumpkins grow so fast, added Shaw, participants can almost watch them grow.

“But you can’t relax too much, ” she chuckled, because, Shaw said, the contest is serious business.

READ MORE: Pumpkin weighing 197 kilograms takes first place in Maple Ridge contest

The competition is free and open to everyone in the community of Whonnock, as well as anyone from outside the neighbourhood who wants test their green thumb.

This year there is a new “outsiders” category.

“We had so many people outside of Whonnock who want to participate, we decided to add a category just for them.” Anyone wanting to participate in this years Whonnock Giant Pumpkin contest can email whonnockgiantpumpkincontest@gmail.com, or watch for details on the local Facebook page.

“Growing a giant pumpkin takes time and dedication. Everyone starts out thinking they might have a winner, but only time will tell,” noted Shaw.

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