Festival's major attraction 'started as a joke'
GOOMERI'S Pumpkin Festival patron was announced three years ago when she stood with a pumpkin in hand for her first Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.
Patron Phyllis Hopf has attended all but one of the festivals since its beginning in 1997, and is very proud to see how far the town has come.
"I'm heavily involved and very proud of this town," she said.
"It's something to promote the town and get it on the map."
This year will mark her 22nd year of being involved in the festival in many roles such as a volunteer, committee member and now festival patron.
She is slowly getting to see all of the famous events in between her volunteering.
"The biggest part is the rolling the pumpkins down Policeman's Hill, it all started as a joke," Ms Hopf said.
The Patron has applauded festival coordinator Kim Boyter's energy to extend the 2019 festival to a four-day event from May 23 to 27.
They hope this will encourage people to stay in the town, especially the many grey nomads who attend the festival.
"The festival is arranging more things for people to do, I think it will really work," she said.
Ms Hopf moved to Goomeri and joined lots of organisations, after working with horse studs on her property for 60 years.
She is also now a proud sponsor of the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.