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Reigning champion wins again with 1,600-pound pumpkin

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:06 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - When it comes to giant fruits and veggies, Alaskans may be divided on which is best, but for Dale Marshall the winner is clear. He’ll go with giant pumpkins every time.

Marshall is the reigning champion in a contest he’s entered more than a dozen times. On Monday, Marshall again won the Alaska State Fair’s Alaska Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off with a whopper, weighing in at 1,603.5 pounds. But there was a catch this year: Marshall was the only entrant.

Horticulture Manager Kathy Liska said several pumpkin growers moved this year and didn’t have new gardens set up. Another regular is a doctor, who Liska said “was very busy this year.” All of them are planning on returning next year, according to Liska.

But while Marshall, who has won more than anyone, said he prefers a more competitive field, he’s in it for the weight. He entered two pumpkins in this year’s contest but the winner, which at one point he said was putting on over 40 pounds a day, didn’t come close to the state record he set in 2019 of 2,051 pounds.

“I was hoping it would go heavier,” he said, joking that perhaps the scale was off.

For his efforts, Marshall picks up $1000 in prize money. And, as always, he plans to come back next year.

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