Media

2020 EVENT UPDATE

Given the continuing concerns and health guidance around COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival.

Since 1994, the annual Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival has deepened our sense of community through fun and fellowship. Last year, we welcomed over 70,000 attendees, witnessed a 1,938-pound pumpkin win top prize, and cheered on brave paddlers as they raced hollowed-out pumpkin boats across the lake!

At this time, we are planning to hold the 2020 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Saturday, October 3 in Elk Grove Park. In consultation and coordination with local and state authorities, we believe we can conduct the Weigh-Off in a safe and responsible manner. The Festival Committee is exploring ways to share the Weigh-Off virtually with our amazing community and beyond.

We are grateful for 26 years of tremendous support from our attendees, growers, volunteers, sponsors and all who are involved, and we cannot wait to be together again in 2021.

Giant Pumpkin Staging Area

PAST HIGHLIGHTS

LARGEST JACK-O’-LANTERN WORLD RECORD TITLE
In 2018, three world-renowned pumpkin carvers sculpted a jack-o’-lantern from one of the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off contenders. The pumpkin weighed 2,077 pounds! The "gigant-o’-lantern" earned the new Guinness World Record title for Largest Jack-o’-Lantern (weight)!

2,138-POUND PUMPKIN SETS NEW RECORD IN 2018
In 2018, Jose Ceja, of Napa, took top prize at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival Weigh-Off. His pumpkin tipped the scale at 2,138 pounds, setting a site record. The former record holder was Josiah Brandt, of Rudolph, Wisconsin, who brought a 2,095-pound pumpkin to the weigh-off in 2017.

Giant Pumpkin Regatta

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

GIANT PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF
You’ve never seen pumpkins like this before! For 25 years, giant pumpkin growers from all over California and beyond have loaded their gigantic gourds into trucks and trailers and headed to the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival over the first weekend in October. This year, the growers hope to surpass the current world record holder, Mathias Willemijns, whose giant weighed in at 2,624.6 pounds at the European Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Germany in 2016. A large crowd cheers from the stands on Saturday morning as the enormous orange gourds are moved with a forklift to a special scale.

GIANT PUMPKIN REGATTA
For over 12 years at the Festival, canoes are carved out of giant pumpkins and raced across the lake in the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. Visitors gather around the lake to cheer on the brave paddlers starting at noon on Sunday. After the race, the pumpkin boats fall from great heights into the water in the crowd-pleasing Giant Pumpkin Drop.

HOMETOWN PUMPKIN PIE-EATING CONTEST
How quickly can you eat a pumpkin pie? We put hungry community members to the test in the Hometown Pumpkin Pie-Eating Contest!

PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING
We have the sacred pumpkin spice latte, world famous pumpkin pie, and so much more! Pumpkin-obsessed visitors can get their fix at the Pumpkin Food Court where local non-profit groups, vendors and restaurants will be selling pumpkin deliciousness in many forms.

FUN FOR THE KIDS
There are hours of amusement for young festival goers with free or low-cost interactive activities, including arts and crafts projects, carnival games and rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train ride, and pumpkin story time.

Media Interview with Joey Chestnut

MEDIA FACT SHEET

WHAT:
What began in 1994 as a small harvest celebration is now Elk Grove’s largest family festival and the official California weigh-off site for a national Giant Pumpkin contest. The festival has something for everyone with attractions like carnival games and rides, music and entertainment, pumpkin foods, pumpkin recipe contest, scarecrow-making contest, agricultural area and pumpkin patch, world-renowned pumpkin carvers, and a race across the lake between giant pumpkin boats! The Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival is hosted by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with many sponsors.

WHEN:
First Weekend in October 

WHERE:
Elk Grove Park, 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove
(12 miles south of Sacramento)

ADMISSION:
Admission is FREE and parking inside the park costs $10. Children’s activities range from free to $12. 

WEBSITE:
www.yourcsd.com/gpf

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jenna Brinkman
916-405-7184
email

PHOTO GALLERY & VIDEOS

Visit the Photo Gallery & Videos webpage to see prior year video recap and photos.  

For video clips from the 2019 festival, please contact:
Jenna Brinkman, 916-405-7184 or email

MEDIA COVERAGE

Stay tuned!