Pumpkin King Robert Giumelli has his sights set on national record

The Pumpkin King says he will not rest on his laurels after smashing the state record for the heaviest pumpkin, that stood for 16 years, at the Dwellingup Pumpkin Festival on Saturday. 

Attendees of the Dwellingup Pumpkin festival were in awe of Robert Giumelli’s 361 kilogram pumpkin, that came in first place and beat the state record held by Albany resident Ron Wilson for 16 years. 

Mr Giuemelli said he had been trying to beat the state record for nine years.

“I was determined to break it, but now, I’m going for the national record,” he said. 

“The Australian record is 700 kilograms...this year I hit the 360 mark, so I think I’m getting there.”

Mr Giumelli, who now holds the prestigious title Pumpkin King, for a year, said he loved competing with friends and community members.

“It’s just getting bigger...the locals want to beat me,” he said. “It’s great fun and it’s getting really fierce. We are getting competitors from Albany, Manjimup, Donnybrook, Tooday – all over the place.”

Mr Giumelli said anyone could compete in the competition, if they prepared their soil properly. 

“You don’t have to push the pumpkins too much,” he said.

I’m going for the national record

Robert Giumelli

“I think too much nitrogen is not good for them...preparation is the main thing. Slow and steady wins the race.”

Robert’s wife Judy Giumelli came in second place, with a pumpkin weighing 293 kilograms.

Organiser and P&C president Warren Haugh said the event was “fantastic” with over 12,000 people in attendance. 

“That’s a record,” he said.

“For a school of 55 kids and a P&C of five parents that organised the event –  it was really amazing.”

Mr Haugh said they made over $25,000 this year from festival profits and the committee would put all of the funding back in to the school. 

“We use it for excursions, supplies...anything outside of what the education department is responsible for,” he said. 

“Anything that will enhance the kids education and their experience at school.”

Mr Haugh wanted to thank the community for their support, especially people who were not associated with the school.

“The Lions Club of Pinjarra bought down a bunch of people to support the event,” he said.

“It was great to see all the community groups turn up to support the school, on the day.”

Geoff Warren, who started the festival, was busy working hard on the day with his daughter to ensure things ran smoothly. 

More than 90 market stalls were at the festival and lots of entertainment including a circus show, bouncy castle, face painting, live music, mini golf and giant chess.