Jaco du Plessis - 2019 Champion

Jaco du Plessis, from Vyeboom in Villiersdorp, was this year’s champion at the 9th annual Giant Pumpkin Festival in Heidelberg this weekend with his pumpkin weighing in at an astonishing 601,8kg.

Du Plessis’ monster pumpkin was just short of the South African record of 613kg, held by Peet Joubert.

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

Husband-and-wife team, Piet and Elizna Lotz, from Riversdale, with pumpkins weighing 510,6kg and 460,8kg took second and third place.

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


Winning pumpkin being weighted.

Along with the sought-after title of Champion of the 2019 Giant Pumpkin Competition, Du Plessis received R17 500 in cash. Piet and Elizna Lotz received R8 000 and R4 000 for second and third place. The prize money was sponsored by Shoprite and Checkers and other prizes went to the prettiest and the 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 an 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. – Press release 

Previous winners of the Giant Pumpkin Competition:






Giant Pumpkin Competition – Elizna, Jacob & Piet