The Durham Fair is set to kick off in just a couple days, but before the festivities start, Tuesday was all about who could grow the biggest pumpkin.
The weather this year may have contributed to some larger than normal orange globes, experts said.
For the last 15 years, Ken Ness, of Killingworth, has tried his luck in the Durham Fair giant pumpkin weigh off.
This year, Ness tipped the scales at 897.5 pounds, which is his biggest one yet.
"Naturally to get to be the biggest bragger that I can be I try to get the biggest pumpkin I can,” Ness said.
Growers said it seems that's the trend this year is larger pumpkins than usual and it's all due to Mother Nature. The high temperatures and lack of rain provided the perfect combination for pumpkin growth.
"It's better to have a dry year than a wet year because a wet year will fester disease and mold and mildew,” Durham Fair Superintendent of Giant Pumpkins Jim Debacco said.
Getting the pumpkins to the fair is serious business requiring lots of tender love and care. That is not to mention growing these pumpkins is an all-day every day job in the summer months.
"If you really want to do it absolutely correct, there's a heck of a lot of work that's involved,” Ness said. “Every day the guys are out cutting off certain stems and setting up shade over the pumpkin and putting certain fertilizers in."
While there can be only one winner amongst the 40 or so contestants, everyone has a good time.
“Yeah, it's fun. It's a lot of good,” Ness said.
The weigh-ins will continue until 9 p.m.
If you'd like to find out who won and what their pumpkin weighed, click here.
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