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It's (almost) the greatest pumpkin in the land: Giant gourd weighs a ton

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A record-breaking giant pumpkin tipped the scales at more than a ton at a festival in Wisconsin this weekend - it's apparently the largest pumpkin ever grown in North America.

The giant gourd was entered into competition at the annual Cedarburg Wine and Harvest Festival in southeastern Wisconsin. The pumpkin itself was grown in Streator, Illinois, by a man named Gene McMullen, and weighed in at 2,145 pounds, FOX 6 reports.

According to the festival's Facebook page, it's the largest pumpkin in North America grown outside of a greenhouse, and the second-largest ever grown worldwide.

McMullen grows these giant pumpkins as a hobby. Last year he won the same competition with an entry that weighed in at about 1,600 pounds, according to FOX 6.

What's his secret? "Dumb luck," McMullen told the TV station.

The world record pumpkin, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, weighed in at 2,323 pounds last year. It was grown in Switzerland and authenticated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) in October 2014.

The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth is the organization that sets standards and regulations for giant vegetable competitions around the world.

For comparison's sake, last year the heaviest pumpkin in Minnesota weighed in at just over 1,800 pounds at the Stillwater Harvest Fest and pumpkin weigh-off. This year's Stillwater festival is on Oct. 10-11.

Here's a list of GPC-sanctioned pumpkin weigh-offs in the Midwest.

Of course, there are lots of other pumpkin-related activities around Minnesota this fall. Here's a list of some of them, courtesy of Explore Minnesota.

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