, Salem, MA


October 2, 2012

Our view: A grand tradition

The opening weekend of the Topsfield Fair may have been dampened by rain, but there was still plenty to celebrate.

Of course, we are talking about the world record-setting pumpkin grown by Ron Wallace of Greene, R.I. Wallace’s pumpkin tipped ­— or should we say squashed? — the scales at 2,009 pounds at Friday’s All-New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. It’s the first pumpkin to top a ton.

And it’s no joke — competitive pumpkin growers spend months tending to their gourds, knowing all their work could come to naught; giant pumpkins are actually quite delicate and can easily burst when moved. It’s not uncommon for a grower to lose a prize pumpkin on the way to a weigh in.

That’s what makes Wallace’s pumpkin notable. “It’s a great world record,” James O’Brien, the fair’s general manager, told reporter Ethan Forman. “Topsfield has had a lot of world records, but this one is special.”

We agree. The Topsfield Fair is one of the things we love about fall in New England, and one of the things we love about the fair is the yearly pursuit of the biggest gourd of all.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s contest.

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