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Donald Trumpkin ‘making pumpkins great again’

donald-trumpkin

Proclaiming he would “make pumpkins great again” Donald Trumpkin’s promoter made his way through Wellington’s Pumpkinfest parade with what would be the day’s champion fruit -topped with a bad hairpiece fashioned from insulation.

And great is was, as Terry Hoelke, the man behind the mask, witnessed his son Ryan pull off a second weigh-off win in as many weeks having won at Woodbridge last weekend with a pumpkin weighing 1,803.

Ryan Hoelke, of Eganville, won the Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest Saturday with “Trumpkin” weighing in at 1,800.5 lbs – just 18 pounds lighter than the world-record pumpkin weighed in by Jim and Kelsey Bryson, of Quebec, at Wellington, in 2011.

A world champion weigh-in of 2,323 a few years ago had stood for a while, noted Wellington’s weigh off organizer John Vincent. “That is until a couple of weeks ago out of nowhere a pumpkin out of Belgium weighed in at Germany at 2,624.6 beating the last record by 300 pounds.” Vincent is also regional vice-president with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth and is one of just a handful of people in Ontario who have earned the prestigious “Master Growers” distinction for excellence growing giant vegetables.

This summer’s heat brought down the number of entries this year but perfect weather for weigh in day saw 14 top places for pumpkins.

“We’ve had freezing rain, we’ve had ice pellets, we’ve had a beautiful sunny day but this day by far is the nicest day we’ve ever had and it’s fitting day to have for the 20th anniversary,” said Vincent.

Brant and Brandon Timm, of Pembroke, landed in second spot with their 1,499 pound entry. Shannon Langridge, of Picton, entered the heaviest County pumpkin, weighing 902 pounds and earning seventh place. The Bill Greer Memorial Award is given for the heaviest PEC-grown pumpkin.

There was just one entry in the squash category giving Todd Kline, of Quebec, the win at 1,079.5 pounds.

Wellington’s Pumpkinfest celebrated its 20th year since champion grower, the late Bill Greer, created the event after seeing a weigh-off in Ottawa.

“I can’t believe all the people who have come out all these years. Some thought that over time the event would fade, but it hasn’t,” said his son Bob Greer. “It’s a good cross section of the population coming and having fun and we’ll just keep doing it as long as people keep coming out and we thank all the people and sponsors who help us out.”

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Birthday girl Devon Johnson, with Laurene Settle, Devon Johnson, Lynn and Carol Patterson love coming to Pumpkinfest and this year donned their “pumpkin hats” while waiting for the parade to begin.

“We have the best time here,” said Laurene. “We’re from Brighton and we like it better than Applefest. That’s just become too crowded now so we come here and we love it.”

Many exciting finds at the  Wellington Public Library book sale before and after the parade!

Many exciting finds at the Wellington Public Library book sale before and after the parade!

The Langridge boat was voted "best pumpkin" in the parade.

The Langridge boat was voted “best pumpkin” in the parade. Donald Trumpkin won “funniest pumpkin”.

Parade watchers photographed the bountiful and colourful harvest.

Parade watchers photographed the bountiful and colourful harvest.

Children along the route enjoyed receiving candies and this year, balloons, from the new County Real Estate Co.

Children along the route enjoyed receiving candies and this year, balloons, from the new County Real Estate Co.

The Pumpkinfest Parade is also a fundraiser for the annual Guide Dog Walk

The Pumpkinfest Parade is also a fundraiser for the annual walk for Guide Dogs.

Sparky showed off the County's new fire truck.

Sparky showed off the County’s new fire truck.

The Piersons among a number of motorists driving beautiful cars down the parade route.

The Piersons among a number of motorists driving beautiful cars down the parade route.

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Political heavy weights at 650 pounds were still light-weights compared to the pumpkins weighed at this year's event.

Local political heavy weights MPP Todd Smith, PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff and councillor Jim Dunlop – at 650 pounds were still light-weights compared to the pumpkins weighed at this year’s event.

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The Langridge family prepares for the weigh off.

The Langridge family prepares for the weigh off.

big-veggies

 

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