Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – A mere 33 pounds put giant pumpkin grower Rusty Ortman over the top this year with the heaviest pumpkin at the 2015 Circleville Pumpkin Show.
The entry known as “Pearl,” grown by Ortman, 26, of Ross County, took first place at the giant pumpkin weigh-in Wednesday at 1,666 pounds.
With chants from the crowd of, “Go, Pearl, Go,” Ortman said he was excited to learn he had tipped the scales even slightly higher than second and third-place winners Dr. Bob and Jo Liggett.
“I really thought it was over 1,600 pounds,” Ortman said. “But when Doc’s hit the scale, I was scared. His was extremely heavy.”
Ortman said he has been growing giant pumpkins for three years now with his personal Pumpkin Show best a fourth-place entry at 1,440 pounds.
Wednesday’s top-place honor earned him a trophy and a $3,000 prize, with $2,000 coming from the Pumpkin Show and $1,000 from show concessionaires.
The Liggetts took both second and third place at the weigh-in with pumpkins weighing 1,633 and 1,630. They currently hold the Pumpkin Show record of 1,964 pounds set at last year’s weigh-in.
Ortman said he is ready to relax a bit now that the contest is over for another year, but not for long.
“We’re already prepping for next season,” he said.
The winning pumpkins will be on display throughout the week at the corner of Court and Main streets.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal