Bridgeville, DE – Punkin Chunkin was held at a just harvested corn field last weekend.
For those outside Sussex County, the participants try to hurl a pumpkin by mechanical means over great heights and distances in an attempt to send the pumpkin the farthest.
As every year, competing teams constructed and fired a variety of pumpkin-launching devices, including catapults, trebuchets, centrifugal machines, and pneumatic cannons. Contestants competed in divisions against machines of the same type.
This year about 70,000 people (a 30% increase in attendance from last year) went to the Wheatley Farm to watch 2,000 pumpkins launched into the air by contestants.
2009 Punkin Chunkin winner was a team dubbed the Big 10-inch, which shot a pumpkin over 4,160 feet.
The Big 10-inch was the only competitor to go over 4,000 feet this year.
The runner-up was Old Glory, which blasted a pumpkin over 3,900 feet.
Punkin Chunkin started in 1986 in Millsboro but changed its emplacement due to the increasing space required as the machines are upgraded to fire the pumpkins farther.
Each type of machine competes in different categories, including height, fan favorite, straightness, and most importantly, range. Each launcher counts the best of three shots, one taken on each of three consecutive days.
There was also a carnival for spectators with amusement rides, food vendors and pumpkin recipes in a cooking contest.
For more information about the event consult the official website @link href=’http://www.punkinchunkin.com’>www.punkinchunkin.com/link