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Ottertail Festival drops thousand-pound pumpkin from crane (with video)

A new event made for a smashing time at the Ottertail Pumpkin Festival on Saturday.

Ottertail, MN (WDAY TV) - A new event made for a smashing time at the Ottertail Pumpkin Festival this afternoon.

For the first time, they dropped a 1,000-pound pumpkin from a height of 70 feet.

All that work raising it in the patch, gone in a burst of orange.

It starts as just a tiny seed. But with a little love, it can grow into this.

Joe Werner has been growing giant pumpkins for three years.

Werner: "A giant pumpkin itself is like having a pet. If you want to get the biggest pumpkin it's like having a competitive pet that you have to train every day."

This one weighs in at a whopping 1,031 pounds, and after just a few months of life, it's about to meet an explosive end.

Werner is giving up this pumpkin for the Ottertail Pumpkin Festival's first ever-pumpkin drop.

Werner: "It should throw chunks of pumpkin a ways. It should make a nice thud."

A 100-foot crane stands at the read. Organizers chose a special guest to do the honors.

"What are you about to do?"

"I'm going to pull the rope!"

With a burst of seeds, the existence of this giant pumpkin ends…

"It's like a rock falling from 100 feet!"

"It like, hit the ground and exploded."

But with kids snatching up as many seeds as possible out of the messy, sticky piñata, it's a chance for new pumpkins to grow in its place.

Werner holds the Minnesota record with a pumpkin weighing 1,700 pounds.

Of course, he chose not to smash that one.

For video, go to:

Becky Parker | WDAY

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