WINDSOR – Chip Button brought one enormous pumpkin to the Windsor Fair on Sunday.

Button’s pumpkin tipped the scales at 1,094 pounds, breaking the fair’s 843-pound record set three seasons ago by the Bill Clark and Buzz Pinkham of Damariscotta.

This is the second year Button entered the giant pumpkin weigh-in contest. He received a first prize ribbon and $250, plus a bonus prize of $500.

The Madison accountant attributes his success to choosing the right seeds, cow manure, calcium, fish emulsion and lots of water. Button said he uses between 140 and 220 gallons of water for each of his four plants.

“It’s a lot of work and I don’t think people realize that,” Button said. “Every plant takes between six to 10 hours a week, burying vines to help tap roots grow down into the earth and adding fish emulsion, fertilizer and pesticides. It just doesn’t’ quit. And I actually had to haul my water and that takes a lot of time.”

He plans to enter his other pumpkins, which he said will be even larger, in pumpkin festivals on Sept. 17 in Sanford and Oct. 3 in Damariscotta.

Button said he couldn’t have done it without the help of fellow giant-pumpkin grower, Edwin Pierpont, of Jefferson. Pierpont won the contest last year with a 827-pound pumpkin.

“Honestly, I feel a little guilty,” Button said. “It’s a little ironic that he helped me so much that he came in second and I came in first.”

If his friend feels that bad, Pierpont joked that he should cut his competitor’s pumpkin off the vine early next year so he could have a chance at winning.

“No, he’s a good guy,” said Pierpont, who works for Performance Food Group. “He put a lot of work into it.”

Al Berard, president of the Maine Giant Pumpkin Growers Association, said people who grow giant pumpkins are a friendly group.

“There’s a lot of friendship and a lot of rivalry,” Berard said. “And you get to meet some people with the same interests.”

Sunday’s blistering heat couldn’t keep families from lining up early for a fun day at the fair, which runs through Labor Day.

Fair President Tom Foster said good weather always help with attendance.

“It was a good opening day, a little on the warm side, but people are coming through the gates and seem to be having a good time,” he said. “We won’t know if it was a record Sunday until the end of the day.”

Joy Stacy of York and her husband, Chuck, said they keep coming back because Windsor’s is “homier” than other fairs.

“We go to the Fryeburg fair, but it’s a lot bigger,” Stacy said. “We like this fair because it’s small and we like the campground.”

Kelsie Lee of Belgrade came with her husband, Jeff, and their two-year-old son, Trevor, who beat the heat in his stroller.

“It’s my first agricultural fair,” Kelsie Lee said. “It’s really clean and people are friendly. Trevor likes the tractors. He wants a John Deere tractor. And the animals are really nice.”

All the barns were filled with animals while their owners prepared for the agricultural contests, demonstrations and shows.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.