Pumpkin Heaven   Leave a comment

Sunday, 04 May, 2014

Whilst having dinner at Patrick and Michelle’s the other week, we were discussing what Canberra has to offer in the way of events and entertainment. Whilst listing all the great things that we’ve been too over the last few years, Multicultural Festival, Skyfire, the Centenary celebrations, Floriade etc. Michelle suddenly said that she’d always fancied going to the Collector Pumpkin Festival! The what? we said and so it was that today we found ourselves out along the Federal Highway in the town of Collector by the side of Lake George attending their annual Pumpkin Festival.

We left Canberra in beautiful sunshine at around nine this morning, but by the time we reached the Lake George lookout the clouds have rolled over and the temperature had dropped considerably. So much so that I was glad that I had brought along my heavy rain jacket, hat and gloves just in case. I never been into the town (okay, I think we should call it a village, as that’s all it is really! population 176 I think the sign says on the way in.) of Collector, as the highway bypasses it on the way up to Goulburn and Sydney beyond.

I looked as though the gates had just opened and we were surprised to find a $5 entry charge to get into the ‘showgrounds’ where the event was taking place, I suppose you’ve got to pay someone to setup all those stalls and tents! Anyway, once we were in, it was straight to the hot food stall to purchase a bacon and egg roll for breakfast. Whilst we were scoffing that, Owen entertained himself in the kid corner which consisted of a load of straw bales arranged into some sort on enclosure. Whatever it was the kids playing there were having a brilliant time making up all sorts of games.

Whilst the Bower’s were otherwise engaged, I took the opportunity to take a look around the ‘activities’ area of the festival where there was a fantastic looking petting farm, which the adults seemed to enjoying just as much as the kids. A variation of roll the penny, only using basketballs, straw bales and a large wooden panel with arches cut into it! Also located in there was a wheelbarrow and pumpkin race course which people were racing round in a bid to win the cash prize for the fastest lap on the day. When Michelle seen this, she was straight over there and signing up for go (see pictures below!) and although she wasn’t really dressed for the occasion she put in a respectable time to join the leaderboard near the top.

There was a country and western duo doing their stuff on the stage and so to the background of some country oldies we continued around the rest of the festival, which consisted of plenty of food stalls, local arts and crafts and the odd stand showing off local clubs and associations. I was very interested in the Rural Fire Service display and spent a good while chatting to a couple of members about their service and what it meant to the local community. Set up in the village hall garden was an excellent scarecrow competition, in which you could buy an entry collect the props to create your own scarecrow (a wooden cross to stick in the ground, pumpkin for the head, straw for the body and old clothes to stuff the straw into. There were many fine examples already created and we watched for a while as some kids were creating their masterpiece, before head off to purchase some yuppy pumpkin soup. I didn’t know you could make pumpkin soup so exciting by adding things such as curry, bacon, chillies etc.

Although I had come prepared for the weather, by mid afternoon the temperature had ready started to drop and I swear I saw a few snow flurries in the air, as we made to wise decision to collect all our purchases from around the site and head home. As you could guess, as soon as we were out of the valley that Collector is located in and were coming into Canberra, the sun reappeared, typical!

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