Giant Zucchini Nabs Top Spot at Fair

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Danny Pando, 6, and his grandfather, Sam Silverman, both of Newport Beach, and their award winning zucchini at the OC Fair.

A Newport Beach 6-year-old has a green thumb – and a blue ribbon.

Danny Pando entered the youth garden competition at the Orange County Fair this year and nabbed the first-place prize for largest zucchini.

The young horticulturist tended to his garden with the help of his grandfather, Sam Silverman, also of Newport Beach.

“They’re a good team,” said Audrey Silverman, the wife and grandmother to the duo. “(Danny) has been [gardening] since he could walk… It was a pretty big deal this year… It was the first time he (was old enough to) enter anything.”

The pair planted 53 varieties of vegetables, prepped the soil, cared for the plants, and picked just one to enter.

When fair day came, Pando walked into the garden area with his fingers crossed hopefully behind his back, Sam Silverman said.

“He was very, very excited,” when he found out he won, the proud grandpa said. That was the best part, he added.

Pando’s brother, Sammy, won second place at the fair as well.

The brothers are just two of many Newport Beach locals who have won at the fair this year, including: Less Silver, who won a blue ribbon for his 2009 mix wine as well as two seconds and two thirds for his other wines; Michael Salas won three seconds, one third and two other awards for his wines; Dejan Jovanovic won first and Anastasia Jovanovic placed second , both in junior collections; and Erik Weigland earned third place in miscellaneous collections.

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