Hamilton’s Operation Pumpkin to get national TV exposure

This year’s sixth annual Operation Pumpkin festival will get some national television exposure.

Jason Snyder, co-chair of the festival, told the Journal-News that a national television program will film an episode during this year’s festival, which will be held Oct. 13-15.

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Snyder’s not yet releasing the show’s identity, but said it will focus on the event’s first-ever pumpkin sculpting competition while also spotlighting Hamilton’s downtown revitalization.

“We are excited that Operation Pumpkin has exceeded recognition beyond the region and state as a premiere festival in southwest Ohio,” Snyder said. “With the addition of this national television program to the weekend festivities, we are able to appropriately showcase the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers (SOGPG) and the extremely talented sculptors that make this festival a unique and special experience for everyone that visits.”

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Tony Vanderpool, chair of the SOGPG, which helps bring the pumpkins to Hamilton, told the Journal-News that this year’s festival might be the most spectacular ever.

“I am getting word that there could be at least four pumpkins (weighing) over one ton each,” he said. “This might be the first year that we’ve had growers come from almost 600 miles away that are bringing pumpkins.”

Vanderpool said that the previous Ohio record for largest pumpkin (2,008 pounds) was set two years ago at Operation Pumpkin, but was recently broken by an entry weighing 2,150 pounds.

“The world record is 2,632 pounds and that was grown in Europe,” he said.

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