The happy tale of how a giant pumpkin landed at Children's Fairyland

This story started back in October of 2018 when I was driving through an intersection in Larkspur, California and spotted an enormous pumpkin on the flatbed of a '54 Chevy tractor-trailer. I thought it was awesome and snapped a photo, later posting it on my Instagram.

photo (2018): Rusty Blazenhoff

I forget how exactly but I ended up connecting with the pumpkin's grower, Ian Sigman of Mattole River Organic Farms. He said he was on the way back home from a pumpkin weigh-off contest in Half Moon Bay where that 1,500 lb. behemoth had just won ninth place. Naturally, we started following each other. At some point, he saw that I worked at Children's Fairyland in Oakland and started following that account too.

Peter's Big Pumpkin Espresso as a Jack O'Lantern at Oakland's Children's Fairyland. photo (2020): Children's Fairyland
Giant pumpkin grower Ian Sigman with another giant gourd. Photo: Rusty Blazenhoff

It was there, last year, where he saw a post showing the park's Big Pumpkin Espresso building and had an idea: What if he grew *another* giant pumpkin and brought it to Fairyland after the weigh-off? And that's just what he did! Yesterday, Team Fairyland used a forklift to gingerly move his fifth-place-winning 1,677 lb. gourd off his truck and into the Plaza where it will sit through Halloween (if the squirrels don't get to it first)!

Moving a giant pumpkin is serious business!

It was also the first time that Ian and I met in person. Happy to report that he's definitely a Happy Mutant! He was born and raised in Oakland, so he visited Fairyland as a kid. He now lives on his farm in Honeydew, California which is about 300 miles away from here in the Lost Coast region. We, of course, gave him, and his mom, the Fairyland grand tour and sent them both off with a Magic Key. As you can imagine, it was a trip down memory lane for them.

Yours truly (eyes closed) and Ian Sigman with the GIANT DECORATIVE GOURD, MOFOS! photo: Children's Fairyland

From Ian's POV:

Want to help name the pumpkin? Fairyland is taking entries now through October 25. The winner will get a four pack of tickets to their Fairy Winterland event in December. Keep in mind that this is a park for children under 8 years old and their grownups. Meaning, you will need a young child to get in through its Fairy Gates!