Great Pumpkin 2

Barry Shrum walks through his pumpkin patch.

Woodstock resident Barry Shrum won first place at the Virginia State Fair for having the biggest pumpkin.

Barry and his wife Robin Shrum competed in the giant pumpkin competition at the Virginia State Fair on Saturday, and both of them were able to walk away with prizes.

Robin got third place in the contest with her pumpkin, which weighed 614 pounds. She also won the prettiest pumpkin award.

Barry’s first-place pumpkin weighed 756 pounds with a circumference of around 13-14 feet. For placing first in the competition, Barry received a blue ribbon, a plaque, and $400.

This is the first time in the Shrums’ 20-year history of growing giant pumpkins together that either of them have won the biggest pumpkin award at the State Fair. “It’s just one of the things to get off the bucket list,” Barry said.

Before the fair, Barry was getting ready to load a pumpkin estimated to weigh nearly 1,100 pounds, which was going to be the largest pumpkin he ever grew. Unfortunately, it had begun to rot and couldn’t be entered into the competition.

Heading into the fair, Barry said he wasn’t expecting to get first place in the competition. “I thought maybe we were going to be in the top five,” he said.

As the competition moved along, Barry slowly realized that his pumpkin could possibly have a shot of winning the competition. He said he was nervous because he was expecting other contestants to arrive late with a pumpkin bigger than his.

“We kept looking at the roadways,” he said.

Robin said that even during the weigh-ins for the pumpkins it was difficult to know if Barry’s pumpkin was going to be the biggest. “You don’t ever really know until you get them on the scale,” she said.

The Shrums plan to see Robin’s pumpkin to a farm market and his pumpkin will be placed at W.W. Robinson Elementary School for the kids to enjoy. Robin is the principal of the school.

Barry says that his goal now is to always try to beat his personal best of 1,003 pounds, and that he would love to see more people get involved growing pumpkins as well.“

“I’d like to see more people grow them in the area,” Barry said. “It would be great for families to get into with their kids. It’s so neat to watch them grow.”

Robin says it’s been fun growing these giant pumpkins for so many years, and acknowledged how much the community loves seeing these pumpkins too.

“It’s really neat to kind of be recognized for something as weird as this,” she said.

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