What a whopper! Dart takes giant pumpkin prize again

It was a hell of a pumpkin.

Dart Watson might have been one of the younger entrants in the produce shed at the Wanaka A&P Show, but he sure grew one of the most spectacular entries.

For the third consecutive year, Dart (13) won the largest pumpkin in the junior section with an absolutely whopping vegetable.

First get your entry to the produce hall ... Rylee Bennett (5) and Dart Watson (13), from Tarras,...
First get your entry to the produce hall ... Rylee Bennett (5) and Dart Watson (13), from Tarras, wheel Dart’s prize-winning pumpkin at the Wanaka A&P Show. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

While it had not officially been weighed, his mother Glynnie Barry reckoned the giant entry would be between  70kg and 80kg. It took two adults to lift it on to the truck to get to the show and three men to lift it off.

Dart said the secret was compost and possibly also its proximity to a dripping tap. Rather than making an awful lot of soup, the pumpkin was destined to be carved by Dart.

Dart also took part in a fishing competition at Glenorchy when he was 8 and beat the adults.

"He has a little knack. He just wins things," his mother said.

Siblings Moana  (15)  and Cash (8) Watson  were placed fourth and second respectively, with their pumpkin entries.

President Doug Stalker said it was an "absolute privilege" to be at the helm of the show committee.

A crowd of about 40,000 was expected over the two show days and there will be more than 450 stalls. A huge amount of preparatory work  went in throughout the year, not just on show day.

"Hats off to everybody that helps," he said.

The show was a vital link between rural and urban, and both sides depended on the other. That dependence needed to be accepted and everyone needed to work together, he said.

Physically, the show could not get any bigger, but it could continue to get better.

"We’ve to got to bring country to town, because it’s easier than taking the town to the country," he said.


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