The Great Pumpkin Carnival

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At the weekend we went to the Great Pumpkin Carnival in Hamilton. 

We went to this for the first time last year (which I mentioned in this post: Weekend Recap) and had a fun experience but this year I wanted to take part in the pumpkin baking contest.  The clocks went back an hour at 2am on Sunday morning so I had the luxury of a little extra sleep before I started baking.

I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and they were barely out of the oven before we taste tested them.  We 'taste tested' a half dozen of them and selected the 4 best looking ones for the box before jumping in the car for the 1.5 hour road trip down to Hamilton.


// Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for the baking contest
I love a good road trip and I love driving in the Waikato, the countryside scenery reminds me of home.

Once we arrived in Hamilton Gardens I went and registered my muffins.  There were 3 categories, Muffins & Scones, Pumpkin Cake, and Pumpkin Pie.  Then we wandered around to look at the pumpkins entered into the other contests.

It was very visually satisfying to look at the entrants into the Most Perfect Pumpkin and Best Mature Miniature Pumpkin categories.
// Perfect pumpkins
I loved some of the Carved Pumpkins and Best Names Creations and I think I may also enter into this category next year too.
// Carved Pumpkins
// Best Named Creations
// Pumpkins everywhere!
We took a break from pumpkins, got some tasty dairy free ice blocks and wandered around the roses and other parts of the gardens we hadn't been to before.
 
We had some lunch and saw some square dancing that was happening nearby - it's a different world outside of the city!
 
// Hamilton Gardens
We returned to the pumpkins in time for the Pumpkin Racers.  The crowd were quite enthusiastic.

// Pumpkin Racers
The giant pumpkins are very popular and there are two categories, Heaviest Pumpkin Over 200kgs and Heaviest Pumpkin Under 200kgs.  Tim Harris has won in the over 200kgs category for the past 5 years and his winner last year and again this year has been a record breaker!  This years winning weight was 789.5kg while the second place one was 260kg - amazing!
// Giant pumpkins
I was absolutely delighted to find my muffins had come second place!  I'd never entered a baking contest before and it was so exciting to take part, I never expected to place.  I'm already thinking about next years event and all the categories I want to enter haha!

// 2nd Place Muffins!
All the competition results are on the Great Pumpkin Carnival website.

Have you ever entered a baking or vegetable competition?  If you have any good pumpkin recipes let me know in the comments!

One Response so far

  1. Congrats on your 2nd place finish! That is awesome and your muffins look sooooo good! Sounds like a really fun festival. I saw you mentioned ice blocks - is that what you call that treat you are eating? We would call them popsicles, I think. Or fruit bars maybe if they are mostly fruit/fruit juice? I love hearing the different words people use to describe things!

    Also, even though I can understand that it's fall where you are, it's still crazy to see pumpkin photos and hear about you "falling back" when it's spring here. Pumpkins = October for me but I suppose they = April for you. Anyways, just interesting to think about!!

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