Massive King Pumpkin at the 2017 Barnesville Pumpkin Festival sets new Ohio state record at 2,150 pounds.

It broke the festival record of 1,739 pounds set in 2016.

Local media stories:

World records:

Other photos of the King and its court. 2nd place weighed 1,568 pounds. 3rd place weighed 1,512 pounds.

People were needed in the photos for perspective.

This pumpkin (gourd) would have finished second, since it weighed 1,603 pounds, but unfortunately, the pumpkin contained a hole in the bottom. Even if the hole occurred naturally, the entry is automatically DQed. It's possible that cheaters could stuff weights inside the pumpkin.

The 1,603 pumpkin was grown by the person who lives near my Mom, and it's on the route that I pass when I walk Barney. I first learned about this giant pumpkin grower two years ago when I walked passed his placed, and I asked someone what was going behind the thin, black cloth fencing. The fencing is used to protect the vines from winds.

A lot fewer additional gourds were displayed this year for some reason.

Excerpts from the media stories about the King Pumpkin.


The gargantuan gourd entered tonight by Barnesville residents Todd and Donna Skinner during the village’s annual Pumpkin Festival weighed in at a whopping 2,150 pounds – a new Ohio state record.

The Skinners’ pumpkin shattered their own festival record of 1,739 pounds, set just last year. And they almost didn’t make it – their entry at 8:53 p.m. came a mere seven minutes before the 9 p.m. cutoff.


Hundreds of people who had gathered at the intersection of Main and Chestnut streets held their breath as an enormous orb grown by Todd and Donna Skinner of Barnesville was hoisted onto the official Pumpkin Festival scale. The couple arrived with their entry at 8:53 p.m., just seven minutes before the close of the contest at 9 p.m., creating a good deal of suspense among the enthusiastic onlookers.

Tim Miller, festival committee president, uttered just one word when he got his first glimpse of the pumpkin’s official weight: “Wow!”

“You are talking about a monstrous pumpkin here,” he said, prolonging the suspense before announcing that it had tipped the scale at more than 2,000 pounds. He became even more excited as he announced that the Skinners’ entry had set an Ohio state record, breaking the old mark of 2,058 pounds.

The feat was nothing new for the local couple. They grew last year’s King Pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,739 pounds, and set an Ohio State Fair record earlier this year with a pumpkin weighing 1,621.5 pounds. This year’s victory marks the seventh time the Skinners have raised Barnesville’s King Pumpkin.

Todd Skinner said it took 170 days to grow this year’s winner. The plant grew for 70 days before it produced the pumpkin, which grew for another 100 days before Wednesday. He noted he and his wife leave just one pumpkin on each plant in order to raise the biggest pumpkins possible.

Otherwise, he said there are four keys to success in growing award-winning pumpkins: A lot of hard work, good genetic seeds, balanced nutrition and four to five hours’ worth of daily care. The reward for all that effort is a cash prize of $2 per pound, totaling $4,300 for this particular entry.

The new reigning king measured 215 inches in circumference, according to Skinner, and came from a plant that reached 750 square feet in size. The gourd’s stem appeared to be about as big around as a human head.

The second-place entry was grown by Andy Mosher of Lakeville and weighed in at 1,568 pounds. Third place went to Todd Cotterman of Fenton, Mich., with a 1,512-pound gourd.

I think that the giant pumpkin was auctioned off on Sat, Sep 23, and it went for over $7,000.


“We've got cranes and forklifts that have to move these massive pumpkins,” said Tim Miller. A man just can't pick them up anymore. We used to have six or eight guys get around them and it was dangerous. We have to move them with cranes and forklifts to move them around safely."

How does Skinner move the massive gourd from his farm to a truck?