Get your pumpkins ready!

pumpkin-carnivalIt’s time to get your plants and seeds in the ground and start growing for the next Great Pumpkin Carnival which is on Sunday, 2nd April 2017, on the Rhododendron Lawn in Hamilton Gardens. There are many special categories for schools as well as individual children.

The Great Pumpkin Carnival was started in 2008 in response to Atlantic Giant pumpkin plants being sold by the Friends of Hamilton Gardens. The Carnival has increased in size each year, having probably the most entries of any New Zealand carnival, and is now a iconic fixture on the Hamilton event scene and within the Hamilton Gardens.

As well as the ‘big boys’ (who grow in the over 200kg category ), there are categories for miniature pumpkins, carved pumpkins, pumpkin creations with a name, and a cooking competition etc. So it is great to grow a large or small pumpkin, but you can also buy one and be creative with it. Another new category is the ‘pumpkin racers’ – you make a racer which is a decorated pumpkin on wheels, bring it along to the Carnival and race it down the race track – or try to – some of them wobble or smash.

All the categories and classes (schools, children retirement villages etc) will be on  later in November; as are many photos of past Carnivals.

The Great Pumpkin Carnival currently holds the Southern Hemisphere record of 789.5kg, grown by farmer, Tim Harris of Morrinsville who broke his own record in 2016.

Seeds and plants are available during November from the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre, ‘Remains to be Scene’ 441 Anglesea St Hamilton, ‘A Gathering of Scarecrows’ Hamilton Gardens on the 30th October, the Waikato Rose Show 12-13 November at Hamilton Gardens, or by ringing Jenny 07-854 5436.

The competition is open to people from all areas in and around the Waikato to grow or buy a pumpkin and come along and enjoy the fun – this is a free family day with entertainment, food, a celebrity challenge etc. and the really popular finale, the great, messy, pumpkin downhill roll. Why not come and have yourself a really great day? For more information see

Great Pumpkin Carnival poster for printing (PDF, 2.3MB)

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