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The “Greatest Growth On Earth!” …In One Gigantic Fall Festival of
Prodigious Pumpkin Fun.
IT’S PUMPKINSANITY! The most Vivacious, Outrageous, Humongous Marvels of MotherNature.
It’s the City’s largest collection of colossal family fun. The second annual Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival features the famous fruits that tickle everyone’s fancy in October—except these pumpkins come with one truly titanic twist! THEY’RE HUGE…flaunting a supersized girth that stems from the DILL’S ATLANTIC GIANT seed—producer of the biggest breed of cucurbits on the planet—with world record weights well over 2,500 pounds!
A rowing race that will leave you dazzled in disbelief!
Yes, we said “row”…for while the festival boasts all sorts of pumpkin-themed activities—carvings, drops, food and frivolity—the weekend highlight is the “Great Pumpkin Paddle” that happens in the Allegheny River. Ginormous gourds turned into comical canoes paddling in one preposterous all–pumpkin boat.
Mark your calendar now, Saturday Oct. 19, for the “Greatest Growth on Earth” pumpkins so big, so heavy and so fascinating to behold you’ll be doing double takes all day long.
And, It’s ALL FREE…You’ve Got to SEED It, To Believe It!
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Great Pumpkin Paddle
“Squashbucklers”—Rowers at the first annual Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival in their 1,000+ pound pumpkin boats attack the Allegheny River.
One Fruity Flotilla and Whimsical Regatta! Those are “Real Pumpkins” Rowing Down River.
Thousands of pounds and amazingly able to float. Uncanny, but definitely true, giant pumpkins are incredibly buoyant. They float like a boat…and what better way to “flaunt the float” than with a race, or two, or more that pits Pittsburghers of all shapes, sizes, and status [surprise celebrities are expected] against each other in one literally colossal competition?
Your challenge? Fly, face first, into a full size pie from our friends at Bella Christie and Lil z’s Sweet Boutique, the region’s most marvelous maker of scrumptious sweets. Aah, but there’s a trick around this treat—no hands allowed…we set the time limit and whoever plows through first, or eats the most [we weigh pies before and after] gets the win and grabs the prizes!
There are competitions each day, Sat., October 19 and Sun., October 20 and we’ll only select 10 eaters for each “plunge”…so get in first, then start polishing your pie eating prowess.
Bella Christie For the Rest of Us
For the thousands of festival goers who would prefer to chew gracefully rather than gorge their sugary goodies…
…the makers and bakers at Bella Christie will also have on site all their mouth-watering cookies, cupcakes, candies and confections. Enjoy FREE cotton candy giveaways… then delve into the assorted and delicious Christie concoctions prepared especially for the festival.
And, with Halloween right around the corner, they’ll also be showcasing “dragon’s breath” at one of their immensely popular liquid nitrogen stations set up at the event—flash freezing flavored sugar that allows the eater to exhale a wintery-like breath of smoke!
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Master Pumpkin Carvers…Giant Pumpkin Drops from Cranes…A World of Toasty Fall and Orange–Themed Fun!
The Country’s Best Master Carvers Will Showcase Their Artistic Talents For Turning Pumpkins Into Picturesque Works Of Art… …And, Attempt to Break the World-Record for Largest Jack-o-Lantern!
Top: Gus Smithhisler and Russ Leno prepare their pumpkins… Bottom: Dean Murray and Danny Kissel stand ready to dig in too! All four are among the master carvers coming to the 2019 Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival.
Cucurbit Citizens…Carvers to Sculpt Characters from Movies Filmed in Pittsburgh!
Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival brings to the City the country’s top pumpkin carvers, all of them renowned performers in this unique field of “temporary art.” Headlining the event are: Russ Leno, Gus Smithhisler, Dean Murray, Pennsylvania’s Danny Kissel and Pittsburgh’s own, Jim Morgan. Together, the artists have earned many national and international awards and have appeared on TV shows such as: Food Network, Tonight Show and Martha Stewart.
The carvers will arrive several days before the event to begin their work—picking, scraping, etching, chiseling and fashioning—raw pumpkin into incredible 3-D imagery.
THIS YEAR’S FEATURED PORTRAITS?…the artists will create familiar faces from different motion pictures shot in western Pennsylvania. Among the faces/scenes anticipated: Robocop, The Last Witchhunter, Flashdance and Silence of the Lambs.
JUMBO JACK!World Record Jack-O-Lantern Attempt on Tap.
We’re doing it—actually all five carvers are—as they collaborate to break the record for the world’s largest jack-o-lantern. The current mark was established just last year at a festival in Ohio at 2,077 pounds. A one-ton+ jack is one titanic undertaking…see it, selfie it, become part of the herculean history.
See Smashing Pumpkins!
No, it’s not the famed music band. Our version is much more literal, dramatic and hyper-charged with anticipation. It’s what happens when you hoist a nearly 2,000 pound pumpkin 100+ feet into the air by crane and watch it come crashing to the ground—in one earth-shaking cacophony of cucurbit crunch. Except…we’ve planned some twists to our titanic falls:
1. The Pumpkin Piñata—for the kids of course…twice during the weekend, we’ll hollow out one of these big boys and fill it with all sorts of candy treats. Except there’s no pounding with a stick or bat…we drop it straight to the ground, then open the gates and let the kids pick up the pieces—of candy, not pumpkin.
2. The Project Bundle–Up Pumpkin Splash—we’ve teamed up with WTAE Channel-4 and the Salvation Army to assist this worthy service effort—that provides new winter coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots to thousands of underprivileged western Pennsylvania children and senior citizens annually—with one gigantic splash of a promotion.
Here’s how it works: we fill a 10’-diameter, 3’-deep inflatable pool with water and numbered ping pong balls. A reasonable donation gets you one ball in the pool and one chance at winning. At the end of the day Saturday, we release the pumpkin into the pool. The prodigious plunge wildly disperses the balls. The one traveling farthest from the pool gets the goods. So get your gourd face on and into the game…to donate and discover the prizes—click here!
What Happens When an 1,800 Pound GIANT PUMPKIN Falls 100 Feet to the Ground Into a 3-Foot Pool of Water!
1,800 Pound Pumpkin Drop to benefit Project Bundle Up!
Kids can stop by our “Pumpkins in a Pick-Up Patch” for a FREE, soccer-ball sized pumpkin!
Pumpkins are the theme, fun and flavor of the event. And, while our giants are a little large for you to take home, we do have hundreds of “right-size” pumpkins for families and kids…ready to be decorated and displayed for Halloween. We’ll be giving away FREE, soccer-ball sized pumpkins all weekend long while our supplies last at the BAIERL.COM Pumpkins In a Pickup Patch! Just look for the shiny new pickups on site with their truck beds filled to the brim with Halloween’s favorite fruit. One per family please!…and while you’re in the patch take advantage of the decoration station nearby…where our artists can give your pumpkin a friendly, silly or spooky face.
A Very “Glassy” Act! Vessel Studio adds Gloss and Glass to the Show
From pumpkins in a pick-up, to those hand-blown and gleaned from glass…The husband and wife team of Drew and Jeannine Hine of Vessel Studio Glass will showcase a collection of Fall-themed items, anchored by their incredibly lifelike and lustrous presentation of pumpkins.
The couple operates Vessel Studio Glass in Pittsburgh’s South Side where they create blown glass sculpture, custom lighting and various home goods.
At the festival, they will demonstrate the glass-blowing process and skill that have made them and their business a unique part of Pittsburgh’s art and industrial landscape. See their “live demos” several times each day…shop the array of high quality, highly colorful products handcrafted and on display.
Brilliant glass pumpkin paperweights
Exquisitely crafted and colorful leaves
Staged on the Market Street Pier at the Riverwalk,three regional champion pumpkins will be on display—as officially designated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth [GPC]. Are all expected to be in excess of 2,000 pounds!
Members of the New York, Michigan and the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (PGPGA) including western PA’s own Dave Stelts—former GPC president, world record holder and one of the most prolific growers in the world—will be on hand to answer questions and detail the level of determination and drive necessary to turn a tiny seed into a towering pumpkin.
Seed Diving…digging in to dig’em out!
Someone has got to do it…preserving seeds for next year’s crop of giants is paramount…members of the GPC are constantly refining techniques, soil science and growth experiences…which each new growing season begins with the seeds harvested from the champions the year before.
But to get them, you have to get in them…in a practice known affectionately as “seed diving.” Our champions will demonstrate and, possibly, suit up some diving daredevils from the crowd who want to get a feel for how it’s done.
Seed diving is the colorful name given to the practice of extracting the seeds from cultivated pumpkins so they can be used for the following year’s harvest.
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Fall Festival Fantasia
Foods, Drinks, Crafts…and Lots of Fall-Like Things to Fill Your Day.
Fresh from the farm…and from one of finest farms around..the Sperdute Farm family of New Castle will be here offering a full array of products made from their very own produce. In season, the family raises an abundance of sweet corn, tomatoes, and other vegetables including a wide variety of peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, butternut and acorn squash, Indian corn, and gourds.
The Sperdute pumpkin patch spans 25 acres and all of the give-away pumpkins at the festival were supplied by them…and you’ll have the opportunity to buy decorative and pie pumpkins, along with a vibrant mix of gourds, and jars of tasty jams and spreads spicy, savory and seasonal. This is one farmer’s market you won’t want to miss.
A Pumpkin Patch Aplenty
Other traditional foods and drinks that come with October will complete our banquet of tasty treats and enticing eats. You’ll discover an eclectic row of craft vendors and product makers, many from areas right here in our hometown…proud entrepreneurs and talented artisans who add tons of color and atmosphere to the festivities.
Kool Kids Stuff Too!
We didn’t forget the kids…family fun is what we’re all about and while we’re sure the little ones will be overwhelmed at seeing what will likely be their first giant pumpkin ever, we’ve got some specific activities to satisfy their size as well…
KIDS “PEDAL TRACTOR PULL”…all NEW this year!…for tykes 3-to 8 years-old, the fun is endless the fascination on your child’s face priceless. Watch as each child pedals a replica farm tractor while dragging a weighted sled behind them. Dragging creates friction, so the farther one pedals, the harder it gets…but the fun is in the experience…and the small prize each child receives for their effort
PUMPKIN DECORATING STATION…take the soccer-ball sized pumpkin provided by our Baierl “Pumpkin in a Pick-Up” patch giveaway right to our creative crew near the info tent and let your child paint it to their liking and style
GIANT PUMPKIN PIÑATA…we drop a 1,500 pound pumpkin filled with candy that’s perched 60-feet high in the air…once it hits the ground, it’s a free-for-all scatter to grab the goodies