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Dassel-grown pumpkin takes home top prize at the Minnesota State Fair

The 814.5-pound gargantuan gourd, grown by Darrin Asplin, was nearly 40 pounds heavier than the second-place finisher.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — When it comes to growing produce, at the Minnesota State Fair, bigger is better.

So if you're going to enter the fair's annual Giant Pumpkin competition, you'll need to come prepared.

Darrin Asplin, of Dassel, Minnesota, did exactly that.

This year, Asplin took home first place in the Giant Pumpkin - Adult Entry category with an 814.5-pound gargantuan gourd.

The prize pumpkin was nearly 40 pounds heavier than the second-place finisher, a 776.5-pound colossus grown by Nate Zachmeier in Blaine.

Credit: Carry Clancy, KARE 11
First-place giant pumpkin at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair

And while Asplin's girthy gourd marks an impressive feat in produce engineering, the biggest pumpkin to come out of Minnesota was a whopping 2,560 pounds. Last October, Anoka teacher Travis Gienger set a new U.S. record for the heaviest pumpkin at the 49th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California.

Gienger's pumpkin was five pounds heavier than one grown in New York that set the U.S. record just days prior.

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