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.