27th Annual Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off Set for Oct. 6

Twenty-seven years after celebrating Jim Asberry’s 716.5-pound Tennessee record-breaking pumpkin, the City of Allardt again anticipates a record breaker at its October 6 festival and weigh-off. Previous festivals have featured jaw-dropping giant pumpkins with weights that toppled records for Kentucky and Georgia as well as Tennessee and the local event.

In 2017 James and John VanHook of Somerset, KY, broke records for the weigh-off as well as the state of Kentucky with their 1,594 lbs. entry. Second place went to Bruce Terry of Helenwood with a 1,353 pounder and third place to Jason Terry of Oneida with a 1,342 lbs. entry. Tim Grizzle of Blairsville broke the Georgia state record with a 4th place pumpkin weighing 1,306. But Allardt still await the 2,000 pounder. This could be the year.

Thousands of festival goers will flock to this favorite fall event, drawn by the weigh-off, plus a spectacular region-wide auto show, food and craft vendors in Bruno Gernt Park, live music on-stage at City Hall, a Pumpkin Run, motorcycle and tractor shows, a parade at 3 p.m. (Central), and a costume contest. The festival is fun for the entire family with free parking, free admission, and fireworks to top off the day. A pre-festival Great Pumpkin Beauty Pageant sponsored by Clarkrange Drug Center is set for Sept. 29 in Jamestown with winners to be introduced at the festival’s 10 a.m opening ceremonies October 6.

The actual weigh-off at the Sandy’s Diner building is set for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. with registration from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Dwight Dickson will serve as master of ceremonies. Allardt is a GPC weigh-off site offering $1000, $600, and $400 prizes for the top pumpkin, watermelon, and green squash respectively. An assortment of other vegetables will compete for weight and size awards as well.    

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.