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October 7 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dale Fisher (left) and an assistant heave a pumpkin off the forklift and onto the scale for the official weighing at the Canby Giant Pumpkin Festival. This one, grown by an 8-year-old, weighed 678.5 lbs. Before they are weighed, the pumpkins are measured with a tape in three dimensions: circumference parallel to the ground and over the top lengthwise and widthwise. Those three numbers are added together and compared against a chart to estimate the weight. Pumpkins that weigh heavier than the chart are more highly valued than those that are light.

It's easy to laugh when you just won $2,500, as Danette Godberry does beside her winning, 1,112.5-lb pumpkin. Technically a first-time grower, she says that she's been an assistant for about 10 years.

Pumpkin flesh goes flying as a 700-lb gourd was dropped 140 feet onto a car to kick off the festival. The car was immediately surrounded by pumpkin growers eager to collect the seeds for next year's crop.

(below) It's hard work being cute all day.