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Giant pumpkin of 601.8kg wins in Heidelberg

| Awards and achievements

Jacob du Plessis, from Vyeboom in Villiersdorp, was crowned the 2019 champion at the 9th annual Giant Pumpkin Festival in Heidelberg this weekend with a pumpkin weighing in at an astonishing 601.8 kg.

His monster pumpkin was just short of the current South African record of 613 kg, held by Peet Joubert of Centurion, Gauteng.

It’s third time lucky! The furthest I have come in the competition before was in 2017 when I came fourth with a pumpkin of over 300 kg. I knew my pumpkin was a contender for one of the top three places, but was still surprised when it came out tops.

- Jacob du Plessis, the 2019 Giant Pumpkin Competition winner


Second and third place went to husband and wife duo, Piet and Elizna Lotz from Riversdale, with pumpkins weighing 510.6 kg and 460.8 kg respectively.

Elizna Lotz, Jacob du Plessis (2019 Giant Pumpkin Competition winner) and Piet Lotz
Elizna Lotz (3rd - 460.8 kg), Jacob du Plessis, 2019 champion at the Heidelberg Giant Pumpkin Competition (1st - 601.8 kg) and Piet Lotz (2nd - 510.6 kg).

The winning pumpkin was grown from pumpkin seeds specially harvested from one of last year’s biggest pumpkins at the Heidelberg Giant Pumpkin Competition, proudly sponsored by Shoprite and Checkers for the past nine years.

Along with the sought-after title of Champion of the 2019 Giant Pumpkin Competition, Du Plessis also received R17 500 in cash. Second and third place received R8 000 and R4 000 respectively. Prize money was sponsored by Shoprite and Checkers and additional prizes were also awarded for the prettiest and ugliest pumpkins.  

The two-day Pumpkin Festival is a one-of-a-kind event with a variety of stalls and activities for the entire family including a MTB race, trail run, golf competition, bowling competition, 4X4 challenge, potjiekos competition, fun fair and live music.

In keeping with Heidelberg’s strong community spirit, all proceeds from the festival will be ploughed back into the town.

Jacob du Plessis's winning pumpkin weighed in at 601.8 kg
Jacob du Plessis's pumpkin weighed in at 601.8 kg, making him 2019 Giant Pumpkin Competition winner.

Previous winners of this Giant Pumpkin Competition held annually in the Western Cape:





Piet Lotz

532,4 kg


Corné van Greunen

519,5 kg


Louwrens van Deventer

373 kg


Pinkie Swart

483,6 kg


Pinkie Swart

497,5 kg (SA record)


Johan du Plessis

417,5 kg


Henry du Plessis

390 kg


Johan du Plessis

349,2 kg

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