Sunny day for Christianson's Pumpkin Festival


September 20, 2023

The winner and his sister look at winning pumpkin.

Sarah Walls

THE WINNER IS – Harvey Cardwell and his sister came up from Oregon City, OR, for their first pumpkin contest.

Harvey Cardwell from Oregon City, Oregon grew the winning pumpkin at the 13th Annual Skagit Valley Pumpkin Festival at Christianson's Nursery Saturday. The pumpkin weighed 1,460 pounds. It was the first time he had ever grown and weighed a pumpkin in a contest. He has grown vegetables before but this was the first year he grew pumpkins. 

Just how much water does a giant pumpkin need? Up to 600 gallons daily during the heat of summer said Cardwell when asked.

He has two more growing at home also.

He was joined by his sister Hillary Bedortha. They drove about 4 1/2 hours to get here, leaving around 5 a.m.

First prize was $2,000, a beautiful ribbon and perhaps the best part: sharing the experience with his sister. If it was not for her, he would not have entered.

There were over $5,000 in cash prizes for the largest pumpkins and squash and also for the prettiest and ugliest pumpkins.

Last year's winner was slightly bigger, at over 1,500 pounds. The festival is an official weigh-off site for the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth. The festival was sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Giant Pumpkin Growers, the Skagit Valley Food Co-op and Tractor Supply.

Festival activities included a hay maze by Camp Korey, tractor rides and FARM animal rescue and mentoring with goats and donkeys.

The pumpkins will be available for viewing for the next week or two at Christianson's and some winners may be displayed at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.


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