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ICYMI: 'Mr. Zucchini' never expected to go viral

For the past few weeks Henry D’Angela has been fielding phone calls from reporters all over the world; 'The recognition it has given my community has been very pleasing'

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A version of article was originally published by ThoroldToday on November 30.

When Henry D’Angela first shared the news of his extra-long zucchini, he thought it was going to be a fun, little story to share with the local community. 

But soon enough the zucchini went viral and was covered by news outlets all over the world — it even made it on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

“I would never have expected it would become such an international story,” D’Angela tells ThoroldToday. “It has really put Thorold on the map as the community with the biggest zucchini.”

D’Angela, who also moonlights as a city councillor when not growing supersized vegetables, says he has really enjoyed promoting Thorold.

“The recognition it has given my community has been very pleasing,” he says. “Any time you can get your community on TV or internationally known, even if it is for a zucchini, it’s great. I know Thorold is a great place, I’m just trying to share it with the rest of the world.”

The extensive news coverage has certainly led to an increased interest in Thorold.

When an Italian reporter from OMNI TV recently came down to investigate the world’s longest zucchini, he decided to do a story on the city as well.

“He was very impressed that we have such a large contingent of Italians in the political world,” says D’Angela. “He interviewed the Mayor and he toured the city a bit. He was pretty fascinated that there was quite the bit of Italian heritage out here. It’s nice to actually have Thorold recognized as a multicultural centre with a lot of Italian heritage.”

It’s been a few weeks since the news of the longest zucchini broke, but the attention has not died down yet.

Just last weekend, D’Angela’s zucchini made a special guest appearance at the Thorold Santa Claus Parade.

“I put it in my vehicle and had it sticking out of my sun roof,” he says. “My son ended up driving. He did hear a lot of nice, positive comments and laughter regarding it. Everyone is recognizing me as 'Mr. Zucchini,' which is funny.”

While the zucchini has certainly made headlines, the vegetable's supreme size still has to be verified by the Guinness World Records organization.

“About two weeks ago I received information to bring back to Guinness,” D’Angela says. “We’re still in the process of trying to get the record and Guinness will be the one evaluating the paperwork that gets submitted.”

Even though it could still take ten to twelve weeks, D’Angela is already looking forward to having the result certified.

“There will definitely be a celebration,” he says. “When I get that certificate it will be well known at that point that we actually hold the record and we’ll figure out what sort of celebration we’ll have.”

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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