Pumpkin Grower Hopes to Win Big at Fair
But weather has hampered growing season
Note: This segment was originally broadcast on Monday, August 20.
ANCHORAGE - It is almost d-day for one of the most anticipated events at the Alaska State Fair.
Tuesday is the official weigh-in for all those giant vegetables.
But don't expect any world records to be broken; the weather has put a damper on the growing season.
It may not be a banner year for big vegetables, but that hasn’t stopped perennial pumpkin grower Dale Marshall.
This year Marshall will be bringing two pumpkins to the fair.
With a week of growth still to go when KTVA visited, the final weight is anyone's guess.
One thing Marshall knows for sure is that he won’t be coming close to a world record.
“The holy grail is 2,000 pounds. The first guy to reach that, he'll make a lot of money, and all the braggin’ rights forever, you know,” Marshall said.
That guy could have been Marshall last year, when he hauled out a giant pumpkin from his patch that was literally twice the size – only to find his hard work result in heartbreak when judges disqualified the entry for a small hole that was hidden on the bottom.
This year he's shooting for best in state, and he might just win.
Marshall has a lot of stake here, and it's not just bragging rights. A few years back the grand prize for a pumpkin at the State Fair was $6, but this year it's up to $500.
And while marshall doesn’t do it for the money, it would be a nice pay off for the five months of loving labor he's put into his patch.
He'll know for sure on Tuesday whether his pumpkin will hold up.
There's actually a chance that Dale Marshall will take both first and second place this year.
Word is the growing season has been so bad there may not be any other entries in the pumpkin department that come close.