The fall days are already flying by, and I often remind myself that autumn is now here. October is fast approaching, meaning pumpkins and Halloween events throughout the Tri-States and eastern Iowa.

Photo Credit: via Canva & Google Maps
Photo Credit: via Canva & Google Maps

One of the most prominent and prolific events is the 34th Annual Anamosa Pumpkinfest & Ryan Norlin GIANT Pumpkin Weigh-Off. It's happening Saturday, October 1st, from 8 am to 4 pm in Anamosa, Iowa.

The competition began in 1989 when Tom Norlin, uncle to Ryan, wished to dedicate the inaugural weigh-off to his nephew, who had lost his life in a boating accident earlier that year. Ryan had enjoyed helping his uncle grow giant pumpkins, and the family legacy and Ryan's memory lives on.

The pumpkins and the event have grown to enormous proportions over the years. For example, a 1989 winning pumpkin weighed 252.8 lbs. While that would make anyone happy, by 2015, the giant pumpkin was a whopping 2,034 lbs, entered by John Barlow of Gays Mills, Wisconsin.

Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva
Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva

The Anamosa Pumpkinfest has not grown to epic proportions as the can't-miss autumn event in Iowa.

In 1992, the State Legislature officially declared Anamosa the Pumpkin Capital of Iowa.

Giant Pumpkin Registration begins at 8 am, awards at noon, and they are on display until 4 pm.

At 9 am, the day gets going with the fun Pumpkinfest 5k Run/Walk. Click here to register.

11 am, the Pumpkin Toss will test your gourd throwing skills.

Additionally, the Parade starts lining up by 1:15 pm for judging, with the Parade beginning promptly at 2:15 pm.

The other fun activities include:

  • Pumpkin carving & rolling competitions.
  • A car show.
  • A cornhole tournament.
  • Golf & bowling tournaments.
  • Big Wheel races for the kids.

Let's not forget the Barbeque competition and the dozens of food and craft vendors.

The Anamosa Pumpkinfest is on Saturday, October 1st, from 8 am to 4 pm. For more event schedules and competition information, visit


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