They must have been what Linus waited for in the pumpkin patch every Halloween.

Great pumpkins, indeed -- a few weighing in at more than a half-ton.

The golden giants, which probably would take hours to carve, were on display Oct. 3 at Jennings Beach. The pumpkins were entered in the 6th annual Connecticut Giant Squash & Pumpkin Growers' Association weigh-in.

Though not sporting the perfectly round, uniform orange color most seek in a pumpkin, the giants -- technically, gourds -- drew lots of attention from both young and old alike as they were hoisted onto a scale with a forklift.

The first-place award -- along with $1,000 in prize money -- went to Dick Wallace of Greene, R.I., whose pumpkin topped the scales at 1,377 pounds. Local resident Nichola Huydic took the $750 second-place prize with his pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,102 pounds. Taking third place and $500 was East Lyme resident John Williams; his gourd weighed 1,085 pounds.

The contest, as well as growers' group, were started by Dr. David Garrell, a local resident who grows giant pumpkins along the banks of Pine Creek.