Giant pumpkin gourds Minnesota's records books

A man stands by a large pumpkin.
Charlie Bernstrom stands behind his pumpkin, which weighs in at a record-breaking 1,990.5 pounds, Saturday in Stillwater, Minn.
Courtesy of Charlie Bernstrom

Charlie Bernstrom grows giant pumpkins by the ton, or almost. 

On Saturday, Bernstrom, of Lancaster, Minn. broke the Minnesota state record for largest pumpkin with a 1,990.5 pound pumpkin at the 15th Annual Stillwater Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 

“It was estimated at 1,970 so I was hoping it wasn’t gonna go light,” says Bernstrom. 

Only 9.5 pounds short of the 2,000-pound mark, Bernstrom is hoping to beat a ton next fall. 

“They’ll grow 30, 40, 50 pounds a day. So, once they start growing it’s pretty fun to watch.” 

Bernstrom has been growing enormous pumpkins for eight years. 

“They take up a lot of time, but it's a pretty rewarding hobby. Everyone likes to see giant pumpkins.”

Bernstrom won $5,000 for the pumpkin over the weekend, smashing the previous state record set in 2018 at 1,918 pounds. 

After the weigh-off, the giant pumpkin was sold to a man from Louisiana who plans to carve the beast and display it on his front lawn.