This year Frerich’s Farm in Warren, Rhode Island a substantial crowd of pumpkin enthusiasts gathered for the annual Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off. The fall pumpkin festival at Frerich’s Farm is certainly worth a visit for those looking for a family friendly way to kick off the fall season. One of a number of giant pumpkin festivals around the country, this is a great way to spend an afternoon with the small community of giant pumpkin growers in Southern New England, and if you missed this year at Frerichs farm, well—there’s always next year! The festival has been running since 2000, every year on Columbus Day weekend.
This quiet little farm was fully decked out for the fall holidays. From a very sincere pumpkin patch dotted with life-size Charlie Brown figurines to a miniature sized corn maze where kids collected maize, this little festival had just about every fun fall family activity one could ask for. Even though the hayride broke down while we rode it, it was a thing of great artistry, a metal monolith warped into the shape of a giant pumpkin itself and pulled by an antique tractor. Luckily the ingenuity of the staff triumphed in the end and the hayride wasn’t permanently down. As a photographer, I appreciated all of the excellent opportunities to photograph my family in all the autumn splendor. My wife enjoyed browsing in the little holiday gift shop and there were many little children painting pumpkins and making scarecrows.
The event even boasted a parade of food trucks with something for everyone, including the famous Rhode Island Del’s lemonade truck and a healthy variety of craft beers, (although she couldn’t attend this year, check out one of our favorite Brewsters over at Crooked). We even got to watch an expert pumpkin carving artist etching a face into his own rather large pumpkin.
The best part of all, and the reason for the festival, was the giant pumpkin weigh-off. The giant pumpkin growers throughout the area represented the best in great pumpkin showmanship. Two bobcats moved these beasts perfected by their dutiful farmers from their position in line to the massive scale. Our friend Pete grew a beautiful orange giant (pictured right, front) that our son couldn’t wait to slide down, this beast weighed in at just under 1000lbs, but it was beat out in the end by an even larger beauty.
The winner? A giagantic pumpkin weighing nearly 1900lbs, although not a record-breaker, this pumpkins was one of the biggest I’d ever seen. While we can’t all grow our own giant pumpkins, this is one family friendly fall activity (with a few extra treats for the adults) that you cannot miss, even if you’re just in it for the pumpkin watching…