RIDGEFIELD \u2014 A nearly 2,000-pound orange behemoth set a record at Ridgefield\u2019s Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off, although the festival that usually accompanies the event did not take place this year due to COVID-19. The weigh-off was on Sunday at the Lounsbury House, and the top pumpkin weighed in at 1,954 pounds \u2014 that\u2019s just 46 pounds under a ton. The monster pumpkin was grown by Joe Jutras, of North Scituate, R.I. \u201cThere is something magical about seeing giant pumpkins. It takes me back to being a child visiting the pumpkin patch,\u201d said Jesse Collins, a co-chair of the weigh-offs for the past six years. \u201cAnd watching people\u2019s faces when they see these giants (even when it\u2019s only in photos), makes me so happy. I love that we\u2019ve been able to share the giant pumpkins with the community.\u201d Thirteen pumpkins and one giant green squash were entered from 12 growers who\u2019d traveled from across the region. The states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Connecticut were represented in this year\u2019s contest. The 1,954-pound pumpkin that Jutras grew to win the top prize eclipsed the previous record of 1,864 pounds. Another Rhode Islander, Steve Sperry, came in second at more than 1,846 pounds. Other giant vegetables that were weighed or measured included field pumpkins, marrow, and long gourds. The green squash category had one entry from Steve Maydan, of Ridgefield, that hit the scale at 521 pounds. Maydan also was awarded the Howard Dill plaque for the prettiest pumpkin. \u201cGrowing pumpkins started out as something fun to do for our kids. But when I found out about giant pumpkins it took a whole new meaning,\u201d Maydan said. \u201cThen discovering there was a weigh-off and competition, it became a challenge I couldn't pass up.\u201d Maydan has co-chaired the event for the last six years, and is the president of the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club, which sponsors the annual contest. Maydan said that over the years his interest in growing extremely large vegetables has, well, grown larger. \u201cWhen I found out that they grow giant green squash and long gourds, I said I would never try that. But I won a weigh-off for the squash in 2011. And built a trellis to try long gourds and won the first prize for longest in 2016. \u201cIt\u2019s definitely fun and a great hobby,\u201d he said. \u201cI can provide seeds to anyone who wants to try it next year.\u201d Although a festival was not possible this year, the turnout of growers and entries exceeded the results of the past few years. Maydan said the Giant Pumpkin Growers Club is looking forward to partnering with a Ridgefield organization to get next year\u2019s event back to being \u201ca festival townspeople can attend, with offers to support for local businesses through sponsorships and on-site vendor exhibits, food, and entertainment.\u201d Interested organizations may contact Steve Maydan and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club at email@example.com.