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Bladen County residents of all ages love the NC State Fair as it is sure sign Fall has arrived. Many Bladen County residents enjoy entering the competitions the fair offers.

Andrew Runion II, age 9, of Garland, grew watermelons this year for competition at the local fairs. He won the Cumberland County Fair and the Wayne County Fair, and he placed third in the North Carolina State Fair and 10th in GPC competition which includes other states.

Andrew’s sister, Alexa Runion, 6, placed third for her apple.

Their parents are Andy and Amber Runion of Garland.

“We fought through two hurricanes. We had to store them (the watermelons) in the cooler at the local Piggly Wiggly to keep them from rotting. Where I cut them from in the field had 8 inches of flood water the next day (after they were cut),” said Andy Runion, their father.