The State Farmers Market crowned the winner of its annual largest melon contest in Raleigh Wednesday, and this year’s top honors belong to Larry Boyette and his 203 pound watermelon. The huge fruit was just 65.8 pounds shy of the current world record melon.
Eleven melons battled it out at the market’s Watermelon Day in the Farmers Building, and the winners took home some hefty cash prizes: $600 for first, $400 for second, $300 for third and $200 for fourth place. Here are the rest of the winners:
- 2nd place – 179.5 pounds – Donald R. Murphy of Pink Hill
- 3rd place – 178.5 pounds – Henry and Langdon Pleasant of Angier
- 4th place – 170.5 pounds – Jerry Gelezinsky of Fair Bluff
This isn’t Boyette’s first brush with giant watermelon fame: The Kenly resident was called an “up-and-comer on the giant watermelon scene” last year by Carolina Country magazine after he took home first place in the State Farmers Market’s 2008 competition and won the blue ribbon at the 2007 N.C. State Fair. Boyette’s watermelon is on display in the State Farmers Market Restaurant, and you can check out his insider tips on growing giant watermelon in Carolina Country’s ‘Giant Watermelon’ feature from May 2008.
Check out the gallery of photos below, and click on each individual picture to enlarge. You can also find these photos and more on the NCDA&CS Flickr page. If you have Watermelon Day photos–or any photos related to agriculture in N.C.–you can join the “NC Agriculture” Flickr group and tag your photos.