Balclutha held what many hope was the return of community events on Sunday after Covid›19 outbreaks disrupted the social calendar.
South Otago A&P Society were able tohold their annual Giant Pumpkin Day competition , which was a roaring success.
Organiser Katy Button was stoked the day could go ahead, despite all of the Covid›19 complications.
‘‘We’re happy to be holding the event now, and it’s a nice turnout with competitors, families and market stalls,’’ she said.
First place for the heaviest pumpkin was Daniel Wark with a 56kg beast.
He said he was ‘‘chuffed’’ to win, and explained how he grew the largest pumpkin of the day.
‘‘I tried to grow my two seeds in tractor tyres, which at first we thought was a bust.
‘‘One of the pumpkins was too far to the side of the inside of the tyre and broke off, and we originally believed the second one would be the same.
‘‘Our second seed ended up going well, and after missing out on last year’s competition I was excited to even be in this year, let alone coming first,’’ he said.
This year the event was much smaller compared to previous years, but that did not stop the competition from going ahead.
Winners received prize packs and awards in celebration of their achievements.
Different categories included best vegetable, top homegrown vegetable, best in show entries and more.
Four›year›old Cooper Bengston won the junior section with a 30.8kg pumpkin, which he fed, watered, weeded and took care of all by himself.
Taieri MP Ingrid Leary stopped by to enjoy the competition, and was pleased with the local contributions towards the event.
‘‘The pumpkin competition was crazy fun as usual. What blew me away though was how many high quality cottage businesses have sprung up or scaled up during Covid lockdowns — many of them founded by women.’’
Mrs Button hoped the event’s success would spur other events that may have been cancelled throughout the district due to Covid›19 to return.
She hoped next year’s event would yield even bigger pumpkins to challenge the record›holding 96kg whopper grown last year’s winner Donna Pettitt, who had to settle for second this year.