It all started with a pumpkin seed

By Bindy Taylor
Communications Manager & Editor-in-Chief

Posted in Culture

Nigel Pratt found a packet of pumpkin seeds in his belongings when he was unpacking his moving boxes after relocating to Hawker. He had purchased a bunch of seeds for a family in need at his previous home in Northern South Australia.

A keen gardener, Nigel attempted to grow at least one giant pumpkin from the seeds. The result was a 15kg pumpkin, which he shared with the community at Hawker Uniting Church where he had become a valued member.

To make the gathering a bit of fun, the church turned the event into a party, organising some children’s art and craft activities related to pumpkins and some pumpkin-inspired food to share. Nigel’s large pumpkin was divided up and given to families to consume. Families also took some seeds so the party could be replicated the following year.

In the following months, Hawker Uniting Church had a growing desire to share the “pumpkin party” with the wider community. They wanted to promote their church as earthy, fun and very welcoming. They came up with The Great Pumpkin Party, an event which will be held on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June this year.

“We want people in the community to know that Hawker Uniting Church is a welcoming, giving and friendly community that they can drop into at any time,” explains Stef Teague, one of the key organisers of The Great Pumpkin Party.

“People may go through a situation in their lives where they hit a bit of a rough patch. What the church offers is true fellowship and compassion. We want people to know that if life gets a bit tough we are here.”

As well as being a point of connection for the community, The Great Pumpkin Party aims to be an exciting event.

It will start at 5pm on Saturday 2 June at the Hawker Institute, where a three-course meal will be served. The evening will also include live music, pumpkin-based competitions and prizes, and entertainment for the whole family.

“Get planting your pumpkins now! We’ll have a lot of different competitions for people who bring along their pumpkins,” says Stef.

The Great Pumpkin Party will continue at 10am on Sunday 3 June as members of the community are invited to visit Hawker Uniting Church for worship and a buffet lunch.

Music will be provided by Jacinda Jansen and Timothy Davey over both days of the event, and Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis will be the keynote speaker.

“Besides offering connection, we hope to use this event to demonstrate the way the Uniting Church community cares for those in need,” Stef explains.

“We will set up donation bins on behalf of Foodbank SA to gather donations of pumpkins and non-perishable items on the Saturday and Sunday. A terrific outcome would be to see those donation bins overflowing!

“We want this event to be one that is happy, wholesome and uplifting. We just want people to remember that the church is here and it is good.”

The Great Pumpkin Party will operate over two huge pumpkin-filled days. For more information or to volunteer for this event, visit or contact Nigel Pratt on 0458 581 353 or Tickets for the Saturday night of the event can be purchased online at

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