The Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers (SOGPG) first formed around 1999 to 2000. Tony Vanderpool and Andy Uhrig of Frankfort, Ohio grew a large pumpkin and became interested in the sport. After visiting the Circleville Pumpkin Show, founder Tony Vanderpool spoke with Giant Pumpkin growers Buddy Conley, Bob Liggett, Ken Speakman, and John Pontious about forming a group. With some guidance from a fellow Ohio group, The Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers (OVGPG), the SOGPG was formed. In 2001 the SOGPG held its inaugural weigh-off at The Farmers Festival in Chillicothe Ohio at Yoctangy Park. The Farmers Festival closed down after three years forcing the SOGPG to find a new location. Lowes of Chillicothe became a good partner and sponsor hosting the weigh-off and loaning employees to operate forklifts for the event. The SOGPG would remain here until 2011. In 2012, the SOGPG moved its weigh-off to the Circleville Pumpkin Show to give Circleville a Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) Sanctioned event and to help grow the SOGPG by collaborating with a festival once again. In 2013 the SOGPG was approached by Operation Pumpkin, a festival in Hamilton, Ohio about putting together a giant pumpkin weigh-off. Our first official SOGPG and Operation Pumpkin weigh-off took place in October 2013. We weighed several state record entries and even the World Record Watermelon grown by Chris Kent of Tennessee. Our weigh off this past year (2021) had two state records weighed in for pumpkins, one for Indiana and one for Ohio.
Weigh off Rules
Our rules are basically the same as all other GPC approved sites.
SOGPG Weigh-off Rules
Please note: In order for your pumpkin or squash to be unloaded properly, it must be on a
standard 4 way-pallet.
A Weigh-Off Entry Form is required for each entry. If an entry does not have a Weigh-Off
Form, the entry will not be counted toward prize money nor submitted to the GPC.
1. Membership to the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers is open to everyone. The Calendar year is Oct1 through Sept30. Club Dues are $25/year and must be paid in full by October 1. If paid after October 1,
Dues are $35 to compete in the weigh-off.
2. Only one entry per person per category with a maximum of two entries per family. One
cash prize per family per category. Second entry will receive the appropriate
plaque/ribbon but the prize money will be passed down one notch. A child over 18 who
resides with parents and grows his/her own entry will be considered a separate family.
3. If a grower enters 2 fruits in the pumpkin category, prize money will go to the heaviest
and both entries are be eligible for the “Howard Dill” award (true pumpkin).
4. Entries will be judged by weight alone.
5. Vine must be pruned to within 1″ of stem.
6. Entries must be free of foreign matter. Captan, wax, lemon pledge, and grafting wax
must be washed from pumpkins for the health and safety of lifters.
7. Entries must be in good sound condition. All entries must be free of rot, holes and/or
cracks through to cavity, chemical (fungicide) residue, and serious soft spots.
Disqualified entries may be weighed for “exhibition” only.
8. Entries must be grown by the exhibitor. Growers do not have to be present if health, age,
etc. prohibits. Must be approved by the site coordinator, Tony Vanderpool, prior to
9. Judges decisions are final.
10. In the event of a tie of two or more places all entries that are tied will have the prize
money for the places that are tied added together then split equally amongst the places
that are involved.
11. Entries cannot have been weighed at any other weigh-off.
12. No frozen or preserved entries will be permitted.
13. The Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers, and the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth will
not be responsible for any injury or accident associated with the pumpkin weigh-off.
14. For anyone with a pumpkin or squash over 600lbs., please plan to donate 25% up to a
maximum of 100 seeds to the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers. The seeds will be
used to raise money for the club. Seeds from Cantaloupes, Long Gourds, Tomatoes,
and Watermelons would also be appreciated. Growers will not be opening up the
pumpkins as they will be apart of the festival and will be collected by the SOGPG after
carving or any other event that the fruit will be a part of.
1. No frozen specimens will be allowed.
2. Site Rules apply, with the exception that a damaged spot may not exceed 2 inches in
diameter for watermelon.
3. Cracks or damage into the interior pink flesh will be classified as DMG.
4. Fruit may not leak, any liquid coming from fruit will be considered DMG
Squash Rules -Site Rules above apply in addition to the color rule below
1. Squash will be classified as follows- 100% of the following colors or color combinations
green, blue, and gray. The surface area of the fruit as grown in the garden, not including
the portion that was in contact with, or close proximity to the ground will be considered.
This area will include the area between the ribs, around the stem, and the blossom end.
This will not include any netting (cantaloping), any discoloration caused by the close
proximity to the ground, or minimal amounts of white striping or mottling associated with
1. The long gourd competition is strictly for length.
2. To obtain a measurement the long gourd must be on a horizontal flat surface that will
support the entire length of the specimen.
3. Only a metal tape measure or a carefully calibrated sliding device may be used for the
4. No part of the stem will be considered in the total length.
5. The measurement must be the straight line horizontal distance from the end of the gourd
near the base of the stem to the tip at the blossom end. No curvature of the gourd is to
be used to increase the measurement.
6. All specimens must be sound, whole and firm.
7. The tip of the gourd must be firm and in good condition. Those with a tip that is rotten,
shriveled or rubbery should be left at home. If such a specimen does appear at a GPC
site, it may be listed as damaged (DMG).
8. Recognizing that the perfect long gourd is a rarity, very minor surface cracks, soft spots
and other flaws may be permitted at the discretion of the GPC judges.
1. Field pumpkins are classified as having a hard, green stem.
2. Green (unripe) field pumpkins are allowed as official entries.
3. Site Rules apply, with the exception that a damaged spot may not exceed 2 inches in
diameter for field pumpkins.
5. No frozen specimens will be allowed.
6. Site Rules apply, with the exception that a damaged spot may not exceed 2 inches in
diameter for watermelon.
7. Cracks or damage into the interior pink flesh will be classified as DMG.
8. Fruit may not leak, any liquid coming from fruit will be considered DMG
1. All tomatoes must be healthy; a healthy tomato must be free of significant soft spots or
2. Skin may be cracked but not leaking.
3. Tomato must be weighed on certified scales, calibrated to 2 decimal places in pounds or
pounds and ounces.
4. Tomato weights must be reported in pounds and ounces to 2nd decimal place. (ie: 6
pounds 5.53 ounces)
5. Stem must be cut within .5 inches of the specimen.
6. Green fruit will be allowed as official entries.
7. Specimen must be weighed on a certified scale of appropriate sensitivity.
8. No frozen specimens will be allowed.
9. The entirety of the fruit flesh must be connected – pictures or video must show this.
Download our Weigh off entry form here: