One southern Manitoba family obviously knows a thing or two about growing giant pumpkins.
For the second consecutive year, Winkler's Cornie Banman has been crowned champion at the Roland Pumpkin Fair Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Weigh-Off.
His massive pumpkin weighed 1,373.5 pounds, a little less than 2019's giant which won him first place. Banman's 2019 winner tipped the scales at 1,660.5 pounds and holds the record for the largest Manitoba grown pumpkin.
The 30th-anniversary edition of the Fair was to take place today (October 3) but was postponed until 2021 in light of current circumstances related to COVID-19. Organizers did decide to move ahead with the weigh-off, with additional protocols in place to ensure health and safety including keeping the event closed to the public, and having growers show up at the Roland Arena one at a time for weighing.
Cornie's wife, Helen, came in second place, and wrapping up the family affair was Henry Banman in third... Cornie's older brother. Henry is a five-time champion and had the largest pumpkin at the Weigh-Off in 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2013. With Cornie's back to back wins in 2019 and 2020, One of the brothers has topped the Weigh-Off seven times over the past 17 events.
Cornie took home the top prize in three categories Saturday; Pumpkin, Squash and Watermelon (results below).
The Top 5 Pumpkins at the 2020 Weigh-Off were:
1. Cornie Banman - Winkler - 1,373.5 pounds
2. Helen Banman - Winkler - 1,285.0 pounds
3. Henry Banman - Schanzenfeld - 1,216.5 pounds
4. Art Cameron - Roland - 1,167.5 pounds
5. Marge Banman - Schanzenfeld - 1,144.0 pounds
There were a total of 18 entries in the 2020 Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Weigh-Off, the same number as last year.
Meanwhile, in the other categories, the winner's were:
Tomato - Jason Terwin - Carman - 3 lbs 7.45 oz (repeat champion from 2019)
Watermelon - Cornie Banman - Winkler - 77 lbs
Squash - Cornie Banman - Winkler - 1,019 pounds