The pumpkin was grown in Gienger's backyard in Anoka County. (Courtesy Travis Gienger/Facebook)
ANOKA, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Minnesota pumpkin farmer's world-record-breaking pumpkin has been carved in New York to honor veterans, with the hope of becoming the world's largest jack-o-lantern.
Travis Gienger, an Anoka County resident and horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College, broke the world record for the largest pumpkin at Half Moon Bay’s Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Oct. 9. He won the top prize of $30,000 with his 2,749-pound pumpkin named "Michael Jordan."
Now Gienger will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest jack-o-lantern after the pumpkin was carved in Clarence, New York, on Wednesday.
The pumpkin is named after basketball legend Michael Jordan because it started out round like a basketball and as a nod to Jordan’s number 23, since the pumpkin was grown in 2023, Gienger previously told FOX 9.
The giant gourd then made its trip to tour Minnesota. One of the places it was displayed was Anoka’s Grand Day Halloween Parade on Oct. 28. The mayor of Anoka and Gov. Tim Walz officially proclaimed Oct. 28 as "Travis Gienger Day" to honor his world’s largest pumpkin and dedication to pumpkin growing.
"Michael Jordan" will be on display in New York through Nov. 11, with proceeds from the event benefiting Tunnels to Towers and WNYHeroes, to honor veterans.
Gienger grew the 2,560-pound Maverick the Pumpkin in 2022. It was carved into the world’s largest jack-o-lantern and was displayed outside Anoka City Hall.