INDIANAPOLIS | The man Northwest Indiana thinks of when it thinks of pumpkins is once again best in the state.
John Barenie, of Griffith, won the Giant Pumpkin Contest at the Indiana State Fair this weekend for the second year in a row and a third time overall.
His 1,293-pound pumpkin beat the second-place finisher by 208 pounds. But this year's entry was 15 pounds short of beating the state record of 1,308 pounds, set by Barenie in 2011.
"Seasons can be tough so you never what you're going to get," Barenie said. "You can’t take anything for granted."
Barenie received a $1,000 prize and a trophy for his victory.
He is the only Hoosier to win the Giant Pumpkin Contest since its inception in 2002. Between 2003 and 2010 every contest winner lived outside Indiana.
The Barenie family annually carves the giant pumpkins grown in its Griffith backyard into themed jack-o-lanterns for a popular Halloween display.