The 194th annual Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts kicked off last weekend, and within days of opening, it was already making history. The record for the largest pumpkin in the world was set on Friday, and the massive pumpkin also happens to be the largest fruit in the world, weighing in at 2,009 pounds, or just over one ton. It was Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island who took the $15,500 prize for the giant pumpkin, dubbed “The Freak II” this year. Check out photos and a video of the Giant Pumpkin Contest at the 2012 Topsfield Fair below. Your puny Jack O’Lantern will pale in comparison.
Photos of the Largest Pumpkin in the World
The All New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off began at the Topsfield World Fair in 1984. That year, the first prize went to a farmer from Milford, CT, whose pumpkin weighed 433 pounds, and he was awarded $100 for the large fruit. Nearly 30 years later, the contest has morphed into a worldwide phenomenon. Entrants must have pumpkins that weigh at least 300 pounds to even be considered for the grand prize, although many top the scale hundreds of pounds more than that. For example, in 2008 the top 25 entries weighed more than 1,000 pounds.
At the 2011 Topsfield Fair, Peter DeNigris of Manchester, Massachusetts, took the top prize for the largest pumpkin, weighing in at 1,668.5 pounds. Still, Wallace’s one-ton pumpkin overshadowed last year’s pumpkin, and crushed the previous world record, which was just set at the Deerfield Fair in New Hampshire last week. That previous record was 1,843.5 pounds. Wallace won $10,000 for setting the record, and $5,500 for first place.
The massive pumpkins are hauled in on equipment that looks like it should be at a construction site—not at local fairgrounds. The pumpkins are wheeled in on forklifts, hoisted into the air, and set down on a massive scale to determine their weight.
Congrats to all the farmers at this year’s fair. I can only hope my Jack O’Lantern’s will be half as cool as these massive pumpkins this year.