What to Know
Saturday, Sept. 22
Irvine Park Railroad
Numerous last-minute errands and must-dos can easily be performed in the autumn, from picking up a pot of chrysanthemums before going to visit your mom to running by the costume store for a wig on Halloween morning.
But there is zero chance that any participant competing in The Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Irvine Park Railroad on Saturday, Sept. 22 will be engaging in any down-to-the-wire tasks.
Because growing a gourd that is too large to put one's arms around? That's can't be lifted by a single person? That seems as heavy and as large as boulder?
That's not something you can start, like, now. Or even yesterday. Or even 100 yesterdays ago.
And you can bet that the pumpkin growers showing up at the annual squash-centered showdown started months back, and have tended to their ever-growing vines and tendrils all summer long.
Grow time is over, however, and showtime is here, and the person with the biggest pumpkin will snag $5,000, the day's top prize.
That's a whole lot of seeds, you betcha.
There are other honors and case prizes to net, including one for new grower and prettiest pumpkin.
And the "top 3" of the batch? They'll be on view, at Irvine Park Railroad, through Oct. 15, perhaps inspiring other pumpkin-fascinated gardeners out there.
These are some giants, believe it, and the word "forklift" is on the site, so you know you'll spy some humongous, stem-topped specimens.
A bonus? You'll be at the fam-sweet railroad, an Orange classic, should you and the kids want to board the train or take part in another autumnal activity.
It's free to watch the weigh-off, and enter the Irvine Park Railroad, too, but show with money for the train and stuff to do. Plus parking, too, has a fee.
Of course, keep a few bucks in your pocket, should you want to buy seeds in a couple of months to try and grow your own backyard giant in the spring and summer of 2019.
Do you have what it takes to coax a colossal pumpkin into being?