May 31, 2021
Goomeri has marked the 25th anniversary of its popular Pumpkin Festival with four days of festival fun, culminating in its trademarked Great Australian Pumpkin Roll on Sunday afternoon.
Events kicked off on Thursday with a movie night and a string of arty activities thanks to the Goomeri Creatives and local artist Pat van Kempen.
On Friday, there was more art, a harmonica concert, bingo and busking followed by a trivia night and licensed bar in the Hall Of Memory.
But the festival really got on a roll on Saturday with Goomeri P-10’s giant car boot sale in the morning (a fundraiser for the school’s Cairns camp); a bush poets breakfast and sausage sizzle, wine tastings, more art and craft activities, the Pumpkin Open at Goomeri Golf Club, and the start of the Pumpkin Bowls and Pumpkin Power Shot Put competitions.
The Goomeri Creatives were also back in action with activities for the kids at the Pumpkin Patch near the giant pumpkin in Market Square.
On Saturday afternoon, Goomeri’s popular Twilight Markets enjoyed an early start in Market Square with food trucks, market stalls and live entertainment from 3:00pm until 9:00pm.
Or visitors could take a break from the festival and attend the Autumn Rodeo at Goomeri Showgrounds, which featured more live entertainment and a licensed bar which ran late into the night.
On Saturday night, diners who booked early enjoyed a “Grazing In Goomeri” bush dinner under the stars with live entertainment in the grounds of historic Boonara Homestead.
Buses ran from Goomeri to the homestead so visitors could enjoy their evening out in comfort.
Back in town, Saturday night in Goomeri finished with a flourish with a fireworks display.
Sunday is traditionally the main day of the festival, and it was jam-packed with activities – ranging from sand sculpting and whip-cracking to pig races, horsemanship displays and freestyle motocross shows.
Then there was all the pumpkin-themed fun: the crowning of the Pumpkin Pageant King and Queen (visitors Damon and Amanda Endersby), the Pumpkin Festival Parade (which featured bagpipes, morris dancers and plenty of fancy dress) and giant pumpkin and decorated pumpkin competitions.
On stage, South Burnett culinary ambassador Jason Ford had food demonstrations as well as a display of pumpkin carving.
Much of the entertainment across the weekend featured South Burnett talent, with singers Amber Goldsmith and Natalie Fenton both gracing the stage at various times, and the Wondai Town and District Band in the street parade.
The climax of the festival – as always – occurred on Sunday when the pumpkins hit the pavement in their suicidal dash down Policeman’s Hill from 2:00pm in the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.
Celebrities and sponsors lined up first, followed by wave after wave of eager pumpkin rollers.
This year’s winner was Jon Edwards, from Brisbane.
[Photos: Cr Kathy Duff]
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By The Numbers
- Number of pumpkins used in soup making – 320
- Number of litres of pumpkin soup prepared – 300 litres
- Pumpkin scones cooked – 32 dozen
- Pumpkin pies cooked – 30 (12 slices per pie)
- Number of pumpkins rolled down Policeman’s Hill – 852
- Number of volunteers – 85
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- Pumpkin Fun’s Getting Even Bigger (2018)
- Deb’s Bowled Over By Festival (2017)
- Goomeri Crowds Love To Squash In (2016)
- Goomeri Shows How It’s Done (2015)
- Goomeri’s Pumpkins Hit The Spot (2014)
- Goomeri’s On A Roll (2013)
- Crowds Bowled Over By Festival Fun (2012)