WRAL.com at the State Fair

Attack of the giant mutant sweet potatoes

Posted October 17, 2010 9:57 a.m. EDT

I got my Halloween chills a bit early looking at the giant sweet potatoes amongst all the other produce in the Expo building. The pumpkins weighing several hundred pounds may get all the press, but when it comes to pure "Ewwww!", you can't beat a knobbly, twisted ol' ipomoea batatas.

The winner this year was over fifteen and a half pounds. My husband opined that it looked like cluster of sweet potatoes and didn't seem appropriate as a winner. (I had no idea he could summon moral indignation over agricultural contests.) In deference to him I'll also note that the second place winner weighed slightly under eleven pounds, with the third place winner (shaped like a pointy turnip!) tipping the scales at just over ten and a half pounds.

There's plenty going on in the Expo building (if mutant sweet potatoes aren't your thing.) There's the giant pumpkin, of course (this year's winner weighed 864 pounds!) but there's also an unexpected variety of produce (including sugar cane, endless varieties of peppers, and eggplants), and a selection of decorated gourds and apples. Don't miss the giant flying pig in the middle of the building, and if you enjoy puns, keep an eye out for the Apple-ate Court Judge.