700-pound pumpkins might not be big enough for this year’s Old Town weigh-off

       Pumpkins even bigger than last year's 701-pound winners are anticipated for the second annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Old Colorado City Saturday, Oct. 7.
       Oversized orange vegetation from as many as 16 growers around the state will be arriving through the morning, with judging to begin at noon. The overall event time is advertised as 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
       The location will be the Old Town Plaza, at 25th Street and Colorado Avenue. According to Charlie Cagaio, the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group board member who started the event last year, he's heard reports from several growers that their pumpkins were already bigger last week than 700 pounds. “There's been more rain, and that means more nitrogen, and that makes for bigger pumpkins,” he said.
       Among the returnees will be Doug Minix and Sue Bowers, a married couple who - in a fluke occurrence - tied for first last year, each with a pumpkin weighing 701 pounds.
       The OCCA will hand out $450 in prize money, to be divvied out to the first three places.
       One event enhancement that all participants will appreciate is the availability of pallets and a forklift. Last year the competitors helped each other by getting a tarp under the giant things and strainingly lifting them onto the scales.
       Last year the Old Colorado City event was the only one in a several-state region, allowing it to bill itself as the only regionally sanctioned weigh station for the national Great Pumpkin Commonwealth competition. That claim can't be used this year, however, because Denver also is a weigh station. “We made too big a splash, and Denver got jealous,” Cagiao said.

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