By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some of the world’s largest pumpkins will be on the display in the Twin Cities this weekend.

It is the 13th year of giant pumpkin weigh-ins at Stillwater’s annual Harvest Fest. Midwest growers are hoping for another record holder.

Kate Raddatz got to check out the pumpkin patch of one of the competitors.

During the summer, you’d find Chris Stevens tending to his garden for about an hour a day.

He works a 9 to 5, but after that, he’s a competitive pumpkin grower.

“It’s a lot of work,” Stevens said.

He’ll be entering a pumpkin in this year’s Harvest Fest contest. He’s hoping to beat his world record holder from 2010, which was more than 1,800 pounds.

He also won with a pumpkin in 2013.

“This thing is rock solid,” Stevens said. “If you pound on it — usually if it’s rock solid when you pound on it, it’s good, so I’m hoping we can get over 18 and maybe even 1,900 tomorrow,” Stevens said.

Chris’ hobby started through his friend, Joe Ailts, the president of the St. Croix Growers Association.

Ailts says the warm summer and rainy fall were ripe for pumpkin growing.

“It will be one of the best seasons we’ve ever had for growing giant pumpkins in Minnesota,” Ailts said.

Chris’ pumpkin will come in with some battle wounds this time because a bear climbed on it and left its mark. But don’t worry, it won’t go to waste even if it doesn’t win. This one will be donated to the Minnesota Zoo to be carved for Halloween.

“I tell people nothing brings back the kid in adults more than giant pumpkins,” Stevens said.

The pumpkin weigh-ins will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lowell Park in Stillwater. They’ll announce the winner in the afternoon, but there will still be giant pumpkins on display Sunday.

Kate Raddatz