PALMER -- The crowd packed into the bleachers at the Farm Exhibits building at the Alaska State Fair anticipated a new world record cabbage Friday night. They watched the parade of 28 green giants dragged to the scale. At the end of the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, Steve Hubacek of Wasilla still held the title as the grower of the biggest cabbage ever -- but not with this year's entry.
Hubacek set the current record of 127 pounds in 2009. This year he had already delivered a 117-pounder to the fair, which led observers to suspect that he had something bigger waiting for the official weighing.
Hubacek drove onto the fairgrounds in a panel truck. There were gasps and applause when the back opened to reveal an enormous and beautifully formed head.
That cabbage and two other contenders were immediately weighed so that they would not loose any poundage due to dehydration during the preliminaries at the event. But those weights were not revealed to the spectators or the growers until after all other weights had been announced.
The Cabbage Fairy ladies tossed brussels sprouts to the stands. The crowd grabbed at them like candy. The Max Sherrod Junior Cabbage Grower Division competitors were interviewed and had their entries weighed. Then the less-than-90-pounders were brought to the scales.
Finally, the top three weights were announced. It was a squeaker. Hubacek's cabbage came in at 126.4 pounds, enough to win the top award for this year but 11 ounces shy of his world record.
Hubacek won $2,000 for his cabbage. The second- and third-place awards were for $1,000 and $500, respectively.
Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off Results
1) Steve Hubacek 126.4
2) Scott Robb 103.8
3) Lauren Guinotte 90.6
Max Sherrod Junior Cabbage Grower Division
1) Keevan Dinkel 68.4
2) Anna Van Diest 47
3) Avenir Mikhaylyuk 40.6
It was noted that Keevan Dinkel, age 8, weighs 61 pounds. His cabbage was named "Fluffy."