Local politicians promote growth through Metz Community Giant Pumpkin Challenge

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Anyone hoping to show up at the 2020 Metz Community Giant Pumpkin Challenge with the largest orange fruit will be facing stiff competition from some of Wellington County’s top political figures.

Warden Kelly Linton, Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox, Mapleton Mayor Gregg Davidson even Senator Rob Black are among those who have already planted seeds they hope will grow to pumpkin greatness by the fall.

Metz is a very small community located at the crossroads of Sideroad 25 and the 3rd line of the former West Garafraxa township.

The challenge was started 15 years ago by Dr. Robert Wright, a local veterinarian, to boost relationships amongst the community members new and old.

Everyone is welcome to attend, with or without a pumpkin. The weigh-off day is the last Saturday of September, with this year’s event set for Sept. 26.

For 2020 there are three categories: adult (20 and older), junior (under 20) and governance, with the latter featuring local politicians.

There is also a separate category for a giant zucchini.

“With the current pandemic, our general activities for Sept. 26 may have to be altered a bit. However, at this time we are hoping to carry on as usual,” said Jim Coffey of Fergus, one of the organizers.

The agenda for weigh-off day typically includes weighing of the pumpkins, which is officiated by one of the local fair ambassadors, as well as mini train rides, bouncy castles, various children’s activities and the always popular, Pumpkin Cannon.

“If your pumpkin is too small, we’ll just blast it out of the cannon,” explains Coffey.

The afternoon wraps up with a pot luck supper and music provided by a local group.

Hamburgers and hot dogs are provided and salads and desserts are requested. Pumpkin themed desserts are appreciated, Coffey notes.

“This year, we want to thank [Wellington North] for their continued support through the Cultural Round Table grants and their sportsmanship,” said Coffey.

“A few of our local politicians involved are: The Honourable Senator Robert Black, who is taking this very seriously and has been observed talking to his pumpkin and providing it with some secret concoction which actually seems to be having a positive effect, Kelly Linton, Andy Lennox, (Wellington North councillor) Steve McCabe, (Mapleton CAO) Manny Baron, to name a few.”

Mapleton Township is among three municipalities participating in the Metz Community Giant Pumpkin Challenge. Submitted photo

He added three local townships are involved: Centre Wellington, Wellington North and Mapleton.

“The question is, who can grow the largest pumpkin from this group?” Coffey asked.

Anyone interested in attending or competing should send an email to james.coffy@outlook.com by July 1.

Coffey will send out updates on the competition throughout the summer and a confirmation of the plans for Sept. 26.

Coffey point out the competition is not confined to local participants.

“We have a contestant from Burlington and a family from Humber station, east of Caledon East. All are welcome, pumpkin or not,” he said.

“It’s just an excuse for a day in the country, with food, family, friends, and of course, pumpkins.”