COLOURFUL: New Zealand’s Judy Ferguson and Brisbane’s Angela Brown.
COLOURFUL: New Zealand’s Judy Ferguson and Brisbane’s Angela Brown.

Goomeri Pumpkin Festival lets good times roll

A TRAIL of pumpkin pieces down Policeman's Hill was the result of fierce competition during the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll at the weekend's Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.

Goomeri's population of about 500 busted at the seams Sunday as thousands flooded the town to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the quirky festival.

A full program left little time to stand idle and pumpkin lovers rose to the challenge.

Among them was Brisbane-based pumpkin rolling team, The Pumpkings, again turning heads atop Policeman's Hill during the popular pumpkin roll.

The team made its fifth appearance at the unique event and shared a few secrets which, in the past, yielded success.

Size, stability and shape were all factors team members took into consideration before letting their pumpkins fly.

FUN: Oliver and Owen Westbury.
FUN: Oliver and Owen Westbury.

No matter how rigorous the selection process, this year's roll was not meant to be for the Pumpkings, relegated to reliving glory from past festivals.

Selecting the right pumpkin was a challenge for everybody, with some participants bringing their own and others rifling through a large box of "good rolling" pumpkins on offer by Goomeri businesses.

No matter how round or perfect, the pumpkins had the final say on the unforgiving bitumen, bouncing and weaving their way to the grassy gully and giant crowd waiting eagerly below.

And if there were doubts of pumpkin lovers' allegiance to the fruit, many colourful and creative costumes settled any concerns.

THE Pumpkin Pageant was full of pomp and ceremony and children's participation pleased festival media spokeswoman Fay Stumm.

"We had a good number in the pageant and they looked very nice in their outfits," she said.

QUIRKY: Ilias Katsapouikidis known as “Ilias the Greek”.
QUIRKY: Ilias Katsapouikidis known as “Ilias the Greek”.

Meanwhile, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chief and the region's food ambassador Matt Golinksi inspired many to take to the kitchen upon returning home while fruit carving artist Tong weaved magic of his own.

"Tong was amazing," Ms Stumm said. "He was able to carve intricate fish from pumpkin as well as a turtle."

Ms Stumm said the festival was on par with previous years and thanked volunteers for their efforts.

Goomeri Police sergeant Warren Lohmann praised crowds for their behaviour and thanked Gympie and Kilkivan police as well as SES volunteers for assistance on the day.

Gympie Times


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