The Royal goes large with new pumpkin record

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - It doesn't get any bigger than the giant vegetable competition at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. In fact, the point of growing giant vegetable is to see how large they can actually get. And of course, the huge pumpkins, beets, rutabagas and other vegetables are a source of fascination for families.

"I just like the challenge of growing them," says the winner of the 2016 giant pumpkin class. Chris Lyons of Scarborough has been exhibiting his monster vegetables at The Royal for 22 years. His first place pumpkin tipped the scales at 1550 lbs, setting a new record at The Royal.

The vegetables are grown for competition only. Once they get too large, they lose flavour and texture. Lyons says most of the giant vegetables end up in compost following the competition, but he will make sure to extract the seeds from his giant pumpkin before it is hauled away.

"My Dad used to grow giant vegetables," Lyons says. "He once had a four pound tomato."

Lyons says the giant vegetable competition is a friendly contest – a community of people who like to see how big they can grow a carrot or kohlrabi. He plants some of his crop indoors in January to give it a head start.

"It's always nice to win," Lyons admits as he pats his giant first place pumpkin. He also exhibited a 5 pound, 6 ounce rutabaga.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, The 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 4-13, 2016, in at Exhibition Place in Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Chris Lyons and his giant pumpkin (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at:

For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411 Fax: 416-263-3488


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