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Giant pumpkins and strange scarecrows in Old Colorado City Oct. 18

In a photo from the second floor of the Old Town Plaza building Oct. 18, a crowd waits for a pumpkin grown by Marc Sawtelle of Colorado Springs to be placed on the scales in the plaza parking lot. His 804-pound entry wound up taking third place in the 10th annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off Oct. 18. The 1,006-pound first-place pumpkin by Jim Grande is shown in the photo below. The weigh-off was a featured attraction in a day of fall-related activities, sponsored by the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. Twelve pumpkins competed - a lower-than-usual number. According to OCCA organizer Pam Gressett, several would-be entries never made it to the event because of an accident that closed down I-25.
Seconds after the announcement that a pumpkin grown by Jim Grande topped the scales at 1,006 pounds - giving him first place (and a $300 prize) in this year's Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off - former winner Joe Scherber (green sweatshirt) high-fives Grande. The winning pumpkin is at left on the weighing scale. Grande's brother Gary (who had won the event in 2013) took second at 940 pounds. He is at left in the white T-shirt and holding a microphone, having doubled as event announcer. Both Grandes are from Littleton.
Three of the 20 or so scarecrows created by Old Colorado City businesses that were on display Oct. 18. Celebrity judges decided winners of cash prizes. FAR LEFT: The Bon Ton's restaurant scarecrow seems to be going fishing. LEFT: Kasten Accounting put together a scene that evoked an accounting office. A close-up of one of the "accountants" is shown. ABOVE: The display by the Mountain Man's gift shop.

LEFT: Pedestrians walk past a flower bed on the south side of the 2500 block during activities in Old Colorado City Oct. 18. The decorative-rock layout, as well as the planting and care of the flowers, is the work of Rudy Medakovic, the lead maintenance employee for the Old Colorado Security & Maintenance District. Featuring giant pumpkins and scarecrow judging, the five-hour event was part of a fall business promotion by the Old Colorado City Associates business group that's also known as Scarecrow Days. The weigh-off/judging day was advertised this year as the "Giant Festival." Also included were sidewalk sales, strolling historical figures, activity booths, live music and food vendors. Most of the scarecrows will remain up through the end of October. In all, an estimated 20,000 people came to Old Colorado City during the day, according to the OCCA's event organizer, Pam Gressett. ABOVE: Carts of ornamental squash sit in the Old Colorado Square commercial center, which was another activity center during the day.

Westside Pioneer photos, except the scarecrow photos, courtesy of Sallie Clark
(Posted 10/18/14, updated 10/20/14; Business: Events)

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