Getting ready to life the 808kg NZ Record Pumpkin onto the scales

The Great Pumpkin Carnival 2018 Rundown

Another year, another Great Pumpkin Carnival held here in Hamilton.

A Great Event

This was the biggest event we had ever done. A huge amount of people turned up on the day, and everything went smoothly on the whole. Tim managed to get a new NZ record which was awesome.

Part of the Crowd at The Great Pumpkin Carnival

Changes for this Year

This year was the first year I was the president of the Carnival and with that came a lot of changes. Few for the Carnival itself, but changes for myself.

I knew this event was going to be different other events, but I don’t think I realised how different it was going to be. Instead of being in charge of one section and still being able to take photos or talk to some random people, this time was more full on.

Pumpkin Racer action at The Great Pumpkin Carnival

Being the go to person that has to give people answers for whatever question or problem they have means there is no time to actually take much of what is happening in. I was grateful I had a bunch of photographers there on the day, and a great group of people looking after things I might normally have helped with.

The 2018 Giant Pumpkin Lineup at The Great Pumpkin Carnival

I have a list of things that we will do to improve next years Carnival. Which will be the 10the anniversary, which is crazy as I can say I am one of the people that has been to every single event.

Lessons Learnt

Here are my takeaways from running a giant pumpkin event. These may help you with your own event, or your own giant pumpkin growing.

  • You can’t always do everything yourself no matter how hard you want to.
  • Finding the right people to help is crucial
  • While you may know everything, not everyone else thinks the same. Having lists or processes written down helps keep everyone on the same page.
  • Feedback is good, no matter if it is good or bad, there is always something to learn from it
  • Take notes. Either at the time when something happens, or when receiving feedback. Use these notes to improve next year

Tim, Alex and Mark getting their prizes at The Great Pumpkin Carnival

After the Carnival

Well it took a couple of days to get my head straight after the Carnival, there was no time to rest as there is still a lot of bits and pieces to tie up afterwards.

The gap between Carnivals is getting smaller and smaller, there is always something to be working on, and it gives you an appreciation for any event. The amount of work that’s put into it, no matter if it is for one day or a week.

Tim’s Pumpkin

When you have a giant pumpkin and it’s weighed the big question is what do you do with it? Well after the seeds have been removed, it usually becomes cattle food.

In 2016 after getting the NZ record, Seven Sharp asked their audience to vote on what they wanted to do with it. The results came back and said turn it into a Cinderella carriage, which sounds really nice. But in reality you are carving up a pumpkin and it’s going to turn nasty really quickly.

This year Tim was super keen to blow his pumpkin up, it can’t be that hard to sort out can it? I posted a message on Twitter saying how we wanted to blow one up, Seven Sharp who are amazing to deal with were on the case, talking to people all over the place.

Getting ready to life the 808kg NZ Record Pumpkin onto the scales

It was almost going to go ahead and everyone was waiting on some permits to allow this glorious feat to happen, but then the explosive people realised that a giant pumpkin has a cavity inside it. This causes problems with explosives, so no permits were issued and the grand plan of seeing a 808kg pumpkin explode into pumpkin dust died.

But Tim mentioned what about dropping it from a crane, they do it a lot in the US and Lucas from Seven Sharp was super keen. After a few backward and forward moments, we had a date and a time, and the 808kg pumpkin going to be dropped from a crane, all thanks to Seven Sharp and Tower Cranes, an awesome company that likes dropping things from a height.

What better way to do it than with a brand new 3 million dollar crane. The pumpkin was dropped from 45m up in the air with all its seeds still inside.

It was another amazing NZ pumpkin first, and it was great to be able to witness it firsthand. The sheer noise of it hitting the ground surprised everyone, the large chunks sliding along like like they were on a sheet of ice.  While seeing it live was epic, seeing it in slow motion is even better, I must have seen this video over 50 times now.

What will 2019 bring?

Well who know, but whatever it is, I am sure it is going to be awesome, and I’ll be there going along with this giant pumpkin ride.

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