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Orange County Digest

Westminster : Pumpkin Had the Girth but No Lasting Power

October 07, 1987

Backyard gardener Bill Moroney nearly smashed the old record for the biggest Westminster pumpkin this year.

His 247-pound gourd would have beaten last year's winner in the Giant Pumpkin Contest by 72 pounds, far eclipsing the top 177-pounder weighed back in 1890.

Moroney sowed his pumpkin seeds in his backyard in January, and by August, his 247-pounder was ready. It was placed on display in the air-conditioned Westminster Library, where contest organizers hoped it would last until this Sunday, the date of Westminster's annual Pumpkin Festival. But the behemoth squash--which had a 100-inch circumference--collapsed in late August.

Another giant pumpkin, thus, will reign over the expanded event this year, sponsored by the Westminster Historical Society and Future Farmers of America. The contest, which has been moved from the Civic Center to the Westminster High School farm, begins at 10 a.m. and features demonstrations in beekeeping and wood carving as well as pony rides, craft and game booths.

Cooks can enter favorite pumpkin recipes--from pie to ice cream to pumpkin skins--at 10 a.m., and at 11:30 a.m., there will be a jack-o'-lantern painting contest for kids.

Food grown on the farm, at 14325 Golden West St., will be served at a barbecue dinner from 2 to 4 p.m. Westminster residents interested in the yearly ritual--organized to honor Westminster's agricultural roots--are offered free pumpkin seeds for spring planting.

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