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Deb’s Bowled Over By Festival

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Member for Nanango and Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, one of the guest rollers, shows off her lucky pumpkin

May 30, 2017

Once a year, Goomeri goes pumpkin crazy: the streets are filled with decorated pumpkins, pumpkin hats, pumpkin costumes, pumpkin sports … but, most importantly, pumpkin rolling.

The town’s annual Pumpkin Festival stops the traffic – literally – on the Burnett Highway to allow hundreds of pumpkins to roll down Policeman’s Hill and splat into gutters and fences.

On Sunday, more than 500 pumpkins were rolled down the hill by otherwise sensible adults and children (although some of whom were also wearing pumpkins or were dressed as pumpkins).

All the pumpkins rollers were hoping their lucky pumpkin would finish up in one piece on the lucky spot, but while several were close, no one took home the $1000 cash.

However, the pumpkins that travelled the furthest without turning into soup did earn a prize. Two managed this feat, crashing into the bunting at the end of Lions Park but emerging unscathed.

Earlier in the day, the popular Pumpkin Parade was held with 32 entries entertaining onlookers.

The large crowd, estimated by one official at 14,000, did have more than pumpkins to explore and enjoy.

A food court with celebrity chefs was operating in Dickinson Park at the end of a long Food Court featuring local food producers.

Both the Gympie and South Burnett regional councils were also operating stalls to share tourism information about the area to the many visitors at the festival.

Music was continual on the main stage, which was erected this year near the old Goomeri Railway Station.

Market stalls also lined the park and highway and extended into the old railway land.

There were also camels, pig races, an animal nursery, whipcracking, a chainsaw display, the Wondai & District Band, the Maryborough Pipe Band, and much more.

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List of Winners

Great Australian Pumpkin Roll

Two pumpkins went the full distance and hit the back fence at the end of the park at the foot of the hill, so the first prize was shared. The Lucky Spot prize was not won.

  1. Jayden Cunningham, Bowral; and Alan Souter, Margate
  2. Tin Hua, Goodna

Junior Pumpkin Roll

  1. Liam Kader, Gladstone
  2. Phoebe Green, Hervey Bay

Pumpkin Shotput

  • Men’s – Brady McGann, Maryborough
  • Women’s – Karen Lartner, Nerangba
  • Junior – Joshua Mansley, Forest Glen

Pumpkin Pull

  • “The Dubyas” – David Eiser, Trent Osbourne and Sean Molony, Brisbane

Pumpkin Bowls

  • Joanne Kunde, Kilcoy

Decorated Pumpkins

  • Adult – Jean Monaghan, Sunshine Coast
  • Junior – Emily Thompson, Brisbane

Giant Pumpkin

  1. Tony Frohloff, Minden (272kg)
  2. Goomeri State School

Pumpkin Pageant

  1. TT Pumpkin Rockers
  2. Pumpkin Man
  • Children – Eli Richards, Goomeri

And they're off ... the juniors were the first pumpkin rolls of the day

Goomeri Pumpkin Festival patron Phyllis Hopf has been involved with the festival for 20 years but this was the first year she had actually seen the pumpkin roll

Pumpkin Festival regulars, the Pumpkings, always make a dramatic statement at the festival

The Pumpkin Man, who came second in the Pumpkin Pageant, had no luck in the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll despite his obvious big effort

The Sunpork (Swickers) team was trying to out-pink Cr Kathy Duff in the pumpkin roll

Taking part in the sponsors roll were Gympie councillor Hilary Smerdon and Shaz Birkett, from CROW-FM

Cr Kathy Duff was presented with a special pink pumpkin for judging the Pumpkin Pageant

Andrew Beckett, from Jemalong Productions at Murgon, was looking after the sound for the main stage ... and getting into the Pumpkin Festival spirit

Ian Campbell was one of a number of entertainers on the main stage during the day

Hedley Fisher, from Goomeri, was sharing music in front of the main strip of shops

Rosemary Delemare, from Goomeri SES, with "Steve", who was feeling a little bit stuffed

South Burnett Regional Council had a tourism information stall ... from left, Stacey Perrett and Natani and Julie Foley

South Burnett Crackers put on displays of whipcracking ... St John's Lutheran School teacher Adrian Landherr with Year 6 student Charlotte Landherr and St John's and St Mary's whipcracking coach Paul Sims

Celebrity chef Matt Golinski was demonstrating pumpkin cooking ideas; South Burnett chef Jason Ford was also on stage during the day

Part of the large crowd watching the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll

Several pumpkins ended up close to the lucky $1000 circle, but no one took home the big prize


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