It's October, so it's pumpkin time, and it's also time for pumpkin competitions. And in the Belgian town of Kasterlee, near Antwerp it's time for gloating a bit, as three locals took all three top prizes at the annual European pumpkin championships.
Top winner at the competition in Ludwigsburg, Germany was Mario Geel, with a 1013-kilo monster (that's well over a ton), followed by a 979 kg runner-up and an 860 kg gourd. All three, though, fall short of the world record, also held by a Belgian. That one weighed in at 1190.5 kg a few years ago. This year's winner, by the way, was not at its top weight: once cut from the vine, pumpkins begin to dry and lose weight.
The three winners are all members of a pumpkin club which provided all of them with the seeds. Van Geel told reporters “This is a top achievement for the pumpkin club of Kasterlee, and for Belgium. This is all with seed from our club. We have great seed!”
The grounds of Ludwigsburg Castle, where the competition was held, will be hosting a pumpkin festival through November, with pumpkin sculptures and 450,000 pumpkins on display.