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Tazewell County boys build giant snow pumpkin

Jan. 26—By GREG JORDAN

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BANDY, Va. — Winter isn't the best time for growing gigantic pumpkins, but Tazewell County boys who grew some last year for Dollywood decided not to let arctic cold stop them for creating another one.

While the weather wasn't good for live giant pumpkins, it was perfect for sculpting a giant snow pumpkin.

In September last year, huge and heavy pumpkins dubbed Godzilla, Tex and Liberty were among the giants grown at Hidden Springs Farm in Tazewell County, Va. for Dollywood's Harvest Festival in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Godzilla alone weighed about 1,169 pounds.

Priscilla Edwards recalled how her sons Caden, 8, and Nolan, 5, grew the giants with help from their family. Their Aunt Kris Dash, her son Colson Dash, and grandparents Melvin and Linda Day helped the boys cultivate the giant pumpkins along with their father, Eric. Priscilla recalled how a snow pumpkin took root at the Dash farm.

"I think it was on Sunday," she said. "Well, we were waiting for it to warm up and we called it kind of a warm day and we decided to let them go outside."

At first the boys wanted to build a snow fort or a snowman, but they decided to do something different. It was time to build a giant pumpkin.

Their father, Eric, used a tractor to scoop up a huge pile of snow. Caden, Nolan and Colson spent about two hours sculpting a pumpkin.

"It was a tall as my husband," Priscilla said. "Gosh, I think it was about 6-feet tall and about 8-feet wide; and then it's circular, so it's pretty massive."

Then the boys started reading about how they could turn their giant snow pumpkin orange. Mixing food coloring and water did the trick.

This week's warming temperatures have taken a toll on the boys' creation.

"All of the food coloring had seeped to the inside of the pumpkin so it's no longer orange," Priscilla said.

Caden has plans for more big pumpkins this year.

"He's got really good seeds this year," Priscilla said. "He's hoping to be the first 4-H kid to set a record for a giant pumpkin. I've never seen a boy his age so passionate about growing. I think he's going to do it. We'll see."

The family has donated a lot of giant pumpkin seeds to other growing clubs. There is a good chance that giant pumpkins will become a more common sight around the Tazewell County area this year.

"There's going to be more kids growing them and we're excited about that," she said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com