Pumpkin mark for Old Town
Sawtelle close to state record

       Marc Sawtelle set a record for Old Colorado City's fourth annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Oct. 4 with an Atlantic Giant variety that topped the scales at 1,111 pounds. LEFT: Alex Montalvo, 4, plays with a gourd atop the
second-place winning giant pumpkin by Doug Minix in the Old Town Plaza at 25th and Colorado Oct. 4, during the
Old Colorado City Associates Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off.
Westside Pioneer photo
       The total, which won him the $300 first prize, was just short of the state record of 1,135 pounds set by Joe Scherber the previous week at a giant-pumpking weighing event in Littleton.
       The friendly rivalry was evident at the fourth annual Old Colorado City event in Old Town Plaza, which hundreds of people visited through the course of the afternoon. Scherber was on hand, but only to watch (he said he had another competitive pumpkin but planned to enter it at a contest elsewhere the following week). Last year in Old Town, the Englewood resident's entry edged Sawtelle's, 1,008 to 1,005.5 pounds. And, the Colorado Springs resident was a close second (at 1,109 pounds) to Scherber at Littleton.
       "Marc would be on 48-hour suicide watch if I beat him again," Scherber joked.
       Meanwhile, waiting for his turn on the scales, Sawtelle nervously eyed the imposing entry by another local grower, Doug Minix, who had won the inaugural Old Colorado City weigh-off in 2005.
       "Mine looks a little light," Sawtelle said.
       As it turned out, he won with ease, Minix taking second (and $200) at 832 pounds. Sawtelle's wife Kim snagged third ($100) at 810 pounds.
       The giant pumpkins are not accidents; they are grown from prize seeds, often sold on Internet sites.
       In all, 16 growers competed for prizes in the event (a drop-off from last year's high of 29). Other contests during the afternoon involved lengths and weights of various vegetable types and a public vote for best-looking pumpkins.
       The weigh-off climaxed Old Colorado City's Scarecrow Days, an annual promotional event by the Old Colorado City Associates merchants group that includes a variety of public events/activities.

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