Deb’s Bowled Over By Festival
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.
- Jayden Cunningham, Bowral; and Alan Souter, Margate
- Tin Hua, Goodna
Junior Pumpkin Roll
- Liam Kader, Gladstone
- Phoebe Green, Hervey Bay
- Men’s – Brady McGann, Maryborough
- Women’s – Karen Lartner, Nerangba
- Junior – Joshua Mansley, Forest Glen
- “The Dubyas” – David Eiser, Trent Osbourne and Sean Molony, Brisbane
- Adult – Jean Monaghan, Sunshine Coast
- Junior – Emily Thompson, Brisbane
- Tony Frohloff, Minden (272kg)
- Goomeri State School
- TT Pumpkin Rockers
- 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