Westins Take First Win In Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off

By
Steve Collins - Circleville Herald staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Wed, Oct 16, 2013 5:06 pm

Cecil and Teresa Westin of Circleville took home their first win in the heaviest pumpkin contest Wednesday at the opening of the 107th annual Circleville Pumpkin Show.

The Westins grew the largest pumpkin presented at this year’s show with a weight of 1,312 pounds, just three pounds lighter than last years’ winner.

Paul Huffer took second place with his pumpkin weighing in at 1,230.5 pounds, and Dave and Carol Douglas took third with 1,212 pounds.

“It feels amazing, and we’re excited and really happy,” said Teresa Westin. “We’ve spent hours and hours out there in the patch, but it’s worth it. It’s all about the Pumpkin Show.”

Though this was the Westin’s first first-place win, they have had the second, fourth and fifth heaviest pumpkin in years past.

“It’s awesome, it’s surreal,” Cecil Westin said. “I really did not expect to be in the top three this year. I thought we were going to be sixth or seventh place, and there were several that were measuring heavier than ours. I never expect ours to be that heavy.”

Cecil Westin was also presented with the John Pontious Service Award for 2013. The award goes to the member of the growers’ society who contributes the most over the previous year.

Last year, Bob and Jo Liggett won the giant pumpkin weigh-off with their 1,315 pound pumpkin. This year, they finished seventh with a weight of 1,078. The Liggetts had won six years in a row prior to this weigh-off, but Bob Liggett said he was not disappointed with not having the heaviest pumpkin.

“I’m very competitive when it comes to growing pumpkins, but just look up there and how can you not be happy for the Westins?” he said. “They’ve worked really hard and had gone to the national conventions. I’m happy that someone else who has won it who deserves it, and they are going to continue the tradition of growing giant pumpkins for years to come.”

Other 1,000 pounds-plus growers include Gary Liff in fourth place with 1,157 pounds; Chuck Geiger and Biff Bumgarner with 1,119.5 pounds; and Rob and Linda Valentine with 1,102.5 pounds.

The Nancy Martin Prettiest Pumpkin Award went to Johnathon Westin, the teenage son of this year's champions, who grew a bright orange pumpkin that weighed in at 568 lbs.

Johnathon said he was excited about his accomplishment.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” he said. “I can’t believe it, but at the same time I knew it. It’s a weird feeling.”

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