New SA record on the cards for Heidelberg’s Giant Pumpkin Festival
There is a good chance that a new South African giant pumpkin record will be set at the 7th annual Giant Pumpkin Festival taking place in the small Western Cape town of Heidelberg on 24 and 25 March 2017.
“At least two of the sixty-five competition entrants have produced pumpkins which are currently roughly about 500kg in size,” explains Altus Joubert, one of the festival organisers. “With a little under a week to go, these contenders may just succeed in breaking the current South African giant pumpkin record of 506kg held by Shirley Olivier, a female farmer from the Midvaal, Gauteng.”
“No doubt these producers will be guarding their pumpkins day and night to protect them against the elements and any rodents, especially porcupines,” commented Dr Johan van Deventer, General Manager at Freshmark (Shoprite’s fruit and vegetable procurement and distribution arm).
The champion of the 7th annual Giant Pumpkin Competition will walk away with R12 000 in cash, while second and third place will receive R6 000 and R3 000 respectively. Prize money is sponsored by Shoprite Checkers and additional prizes are also awarded for the smallest, prettiest and ugliest pumpkins.
The two-day festival, held at the Heidelberg Showgrounds, is a community initiative and all proceeds are donated to the local schools and old age home. Additional activities at the festival include a MTB race, 15km trail run, golf day and bowls competition. There will also be pumpkin carving and pumpkin throwing competitions, which promises to be lots of fun for both young and old.
Previous winners of the Heidelberg Giant Pumpkin Competition:
Louwrens van Deventer (2016) – 373kg
Pinkie Swart (2015) – 483,6kg
Pinkie Swart (2014) – 497,5kg (former SA record)
Johan du Plessis (2013) – 417,5kg
Henry du Plessis (2012) – 390kg
Johan du Plessis (2011) – 349,2kg
For more information, visit the Giant Pumpkin website.