Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off set to awe crowd at Alaska State Fair

Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off contender on its way to Alaska State Fair
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 11:14 AM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Among the things the Alaska State Fair is known for, giant vegetables may be the most popular.

With giant pumpkins, zucchini, artichokes, cabbages, and rutabagas, the crowd’s eyes tend to get bigger when gazing at the goliath produce each year. With long summer days providing a perfect recipe for rapid growth, vegetables can get pretty massive in Alaska, particularly around the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, which are rich in fertile soil, due to ancient glaciers that once carved through the area.

The 2022 edition of the Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off gets underway Monday at 2 p.m. at the Craig Taylor Farm Exhibits building, centered off the yellow trail on the fairgrounds.

This year, defending champion Dale Marshall is back to attempt to claim the title once again. Last year, Marshall’s pumpkin won the blue ribbon with a giant pumpkin tipping the scales at 1,603.5 pounds. It wasn’t the state record 2,051-pound monster he grew in 2019, but Marshall is hoping what he has this year is enough to win the title and the $1,000 prize that comes with it.