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Gigantic Geauga County pumpkins on display at Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival

Legendary pumpkin grower Jerry Rose steals the show with a 1,400-plus-pound behemoth.

HUNTSBURG, Ohio — The scales are ready to weigh a cornucopia of homegrown vegetables in preparation for this weekend's Pumpkin Festival in Huntsburg. 

"Nine pounds, 8 ounces," says Jerry Rose as he weighs a big zucchini. 

This Geauga County community grows some whoppers! 

"It's supposed to be right up there," says one young entrant, pointing to the 20 pound mark on the scale. The vegetables are big, but it's the pumpkins everyone wants to see. Folks bring them by the truckload, two big, round pumpkins take up the back of one family truck. 

I couldn't contain my amazement at the size. "Holy Moley!", I exclaimed. 

They are beautiful pumpkins, and pretty big... 138 pounds. But waiting in the wings are Jerry's giants. "We got this big one here, estimated around 1400 pounds, but we haven't weighed it yet," says Rose. His entry to this year's Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival is huge, but not his biggest this year. That 1800 pounder is still in the patch. 

Rose says it has a special destination. "My biggest goes to Canfield, that's where our central club is."

A tractor is needed to lift the sling that holds this gargantuan gourd. It rumples towards the super-sized squash and now, the moment of truth. The tension in the air is only matched by that of the sling cradling the pumpkin. As strap and chain strain, the scale gets a reading: 1,478 and a half pounds.

Rose takes it all in stride. "I'm down a little this year. I thought I would do better than I have. I'm ok with a 14-15 hundred pounder, but my ultimate goal is the Guinness Book of World Records, which is 2,700 pounds."

It's been 43 years of growing giants for Jerry Rose. Here's hoping year 44 gets him that world record!

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