Soham hosts pumpkin championships

PUBLISHED: 14:14 27 September 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

SOHAM S 32nd Pumpkin fair takes place on Saturday and for the first time in the competition s history the town will host the national championships. Organisers hope that the £500 first prize money will attract growers from far and wide. Pumpkins that weig

SOHAM'S 32nd Pumpkin fair takes place on Saturday and for the first time in the competition's history the town will host the national championships.

Organisers hope that the £500 first prize money will attract growers from far and wide. Pumpkins that weigh more than 90kg can be entered for the national competition, which has prize money of £900.

This year's event will take place at the Recreation Ground, an entries for the various vegetable and growing competitions need to be at the ground between 9.30am and 11.30am on Saturday. All proceeds will go to the charities being supported by The Soham Pumpkin Fair committee.

Since its launch in 1974, the pumpkin fair has raised more than £33 000 for local charities and is the only one of its kind in the whole of East Anglia. Each year the committee donates pumpkin and sunflower seeds to schools and play schemes in the area.

Committee chairman Mark Williams, said: "We are very excited to be hosting the national championship and hopefully we will get some really large pumpkins from further afield being entered. We do know that this year the growing conditions have not been ideal, but someone out there might have a prize winner and could walk off with £500."

Over the years, the fair has attracted large numbers of visitors with well over 1000 attending last year's event. The fair has also seen a number of record breakers over the years. The largest pumpkin recorded was a massive 525lbs (the largest pumpkin grown in the UK in 2002), and last year's winner weighed in at 52.4kg. There are also competitions for sunflowers, the record holder so far being 16 feet tall and the heaviest marrow which weighed in at 8lbs.

There are also a number of indoor competitions for local Cub, Brownies, Guides and Scout groups. Baking and poetry competitions are being held, and this year's theme will be Countryside Creatures.

Attractions in the main arena, include The Soham Fenlander Majorettes and displays by St Andrew's and The Weatheralls schools.

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