New SA record on the cards for Heidelberg’s Giant Pumpkin Festival

(16 March 2017) 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 two weeks 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 R10 000 in cash, while second and third place will receive R5 000 and R2 500 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 an MTB race, 35km 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 Giant Pumpkin Competition: 

YEAR NAME WEIGHT OF PUMPKIN
2011 Johan du Plessis 349,2kg
2012 Henry du Plessis 390kg
2013 Johan du Plessis 417,5kg
2014 Pinkie Swart 497,5kg (former SA record)
2015 Pinkie Swart 483,6kg
2016 Louwrens van Deventer 373kg

For more information, visit www.pumpkinfestival.co.za.

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