ACT News


The gourds have spoken in Canberra's favour

If Cinderella's fairy godmother could make a golden carriage out of a regular-sized pumpkin, what could she do with these 300 kilogram behemoths?

An A380, a B-double, or perhaps even Clive Palmer's Titanic II?

These impossibly large pumpkins were on show at the annual Collector Village Pumpkin Festival yesterday.

The biggest pumpkins, which weighed up to 308 kilograms, dwarfed two-year-old Mia Buser, of Palmerston. But her mother, Sonia Buser, said young Mia wasn't the slightest bit fazed by the gargantuan gourds.

''We sat her on it when we first came in,'' Mrs Buser laughed.

''She was happy, just happy to sit there and smile,'' she said.


The Buser family joined about 8000 people at this year's festival, swelling the numbers of the sleepy rural town well past its population of 200.

The crowds were well up on last year, despite the cooler weather, as the festival continues to increase in popularity.

Festival president Gary Poile, who also answers to the title of head pumpkin, said fitting the crowds into Collector was a challenge.

''I think we gridlocked the town,'' he said.

''It's just for the one day, everyone knows it's going to be a day where there's pandemonium.

''But the good part about it is, on pumpkin day, everyone who comes out to Collector is a local … so we welcome them with open arms.''

But Canberrans might not be quite so welcome next year, after one of the city's own, Derek Forster, took out the prize for the biggest pumpkin. The 308 kilogram monster is rumoured to be the largest ever grown in the ACT.

''Canberra has come and taken out first prize at the pumpkin festival from us,'' Mr Poile said.

''I can see the veggie patches are getting fallowed as we speak, ready for next year,'' he said.

''The gauntlet is down, we want to get the trophy back again.''

A pumpkin in the form of Humpty Dumpty beat dozens of other oddly-decorated pumpkins to take out the top prize of the decorating competition.