PHOTOS: Virginia kids fulfill a dream, growing a 1,048 lb. pumpkin on display at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival
Inspired by Dollywood’s Colossal Pumpkins, the Edwards Family grew a whopping 1,048-Pound ‘Godzilla’ Pumpkin for the park’s annual Harvest Festival.
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival (presented by Humana) has long been a cherished tradition for countless families across East Tennessee and the Mid-South. However, for the Edwards Family, of Tazewell, Virginia, this year’s festival holds a special place in their hearts — as their hard work takes center stage in one of the event’s most unique displays.
“It all began in 2022 when we came down with the boys,"Priscilla Edwards recalls. “We would go through the park and see the pumpkins, and the boys loved it.”
Inspired by the giant gourds, brothers Caden, 8, and Nolan, 5, approached their parents, Priscilla and Eric, with an ambitious idea to grow their own mammoth pumpkins.
“They saw the giant pumpkins, and said, ‘Mom, we’ve got to grow some of these! We’ve got to put them in Dollywood!’” She said. “And I said, ‘Okay, we’ll grow them, and I’ll do my best to get them to Dollywood.’”
With unwavering support from their parents, the young gardeners nurtured eight pumpkins to maturity, and the largest of them now tips the scales at over 1,000 pounds.
“It was just a mom thing to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to do it.’” Edwards said. " I never dreamed that they would be here. I never dreamed it would happen.”
Recently, the Edwards Family embarked on a journey from their Hidden Springs Farm in Virginia to Dollywood, in Sevierville, Tenn., to deliver their magnificent pumpkins for inclusion in this year’s festival. Dollywood’s dedicated special events team is hard at work, making sure these behemoth pumpkins find their perfect spots in the park just in time for the festival opening this Wednesday.
As all participating growers have now delivered their prize-winning produce, guests at Dollywood’s Colossal Pumpkin Patch presented by Food City will marvel at an impressive total of over 19,200 pounds of gigantic pumpkins.
If you would like to see these pumpkins in person, Edwards told local news they will be added to the display on Wednesday, September 20, and will be displayed throughout October, when Dollywood puts away their harvest decor and starts gearing up for the Christmas holiday. She encourages people to take their picture with the pumpkins and tag their Hidden Springs Farm page.
The Edwards Family’s contribution is a testament to the spirit of the Harvest Festival, where dreams, like colossal pumpkins, can grow beyond anyone’s expectations.