Walking into a large display room full of freshly grown local vegetables and melons makes one feel healthy all over – even if you did just finish a foot-long corndog. Strolling past tables and baskets full of radiant produce adds an unmistakable smell and crispness to the air. It may be summer outside at the fair, but it seems as if autumn has arrived inside.
There are two h-u-g-e attractions in this showroom, and I do mean huge, that draw heavy attention each year. The Largest Pumpkin Contest winner is on display at one end of the room. This thing is near the size of a subcompact automobile. This year’s winning entry weighed in at 875 pounds, and came from Dwight Slone, of Prestonsburg, KY.
Also available for viewing is the winning entry for the Largest Watermelon Contest. For the second year in a row Frank Mudd, from Flaherty, KY, took home the cash prize with his 204 pound entry.
These are both eye-catching spectacles, but there is so much more to see here. The folks who grow all this wonderful produce work quite hard during the year to present a viable entry, and this year in particular has been a rough one due to all the dampness. Some had their fields flooded, others couldn’t weed them properly because it was so wet.
Carol Behringer, from Louisville, who is working for her seventh year at the fair guarding the veggies, said one of the aims they are trying to foster is getting younger generations involved in growing produce. There is a junior competition that can be entered, and that works great to have the young kids work along with parents or grandparents to grow and tend to whatever category they choose to raise.
“You may not win the first year, but come back and try again the next year” said Behringer. “The one way you know 100 percent that you will not win is if you don’t enter.”