Punkin’ chunkin’

Yes, you read correctly, Joanna and I attended our first ever Punkin’ Chunkin’ today at Pennsylvania’s Bald Eagle State Park. We were up early and the day began uneventfully as we embarked upon or usual rounds of Saturday chores. I was just thinking about winterizing the bee hives when up the drive came some very good friends with their very new baby. As we admired the baby, Estella’s parents told us they would be attending a Fall Festival hosted by the Howard Volunteer Fire Company. They added that although there had been several autumn festivals in the area this would be the only one that would feature Punkin’ Chunkin’. Having never heard of or had the opportunity to watch a genuine Chunkin’ this was an event we absolutely had to experience – so off we went. Upon our arrival we quickly learned that Punkin’ Chunkin’ involved large catapults. There were six Trebuchets at this particular gathering and each was overseen by a team of three or four people. The object, it seems, was to see which team could launch a pumpkin the greatest distance out over the lake. Before sitting down to write this post I did a quick internet search and learned that Punkin’ Chunkin’ is, in some circles, quite serious business and that the Guinness Book of World Records lists the farthest distance to fire a pumpkin as 5,545.43 ft, well over a mile. Although this Guinness record was established by a gigantic air gun, the Trebuchets at our local get together were driven by either weight (and gravity) or by tension-loaded rubber belts. We watched as pumpkin after pumpkin took flight out over the lake. We estimated that the errant cucurbits flew nearly 500 feet out into the lake and nearly as high at maximum altitude. The air was clear and the wind blew a bit but it turned out to be an enjoyable event. There was lots of good food available, stalls of handmade items and trinkets, and even a falconer was circulating with her bird. If you should be in this part of the world next year perhaps you might take in Punkin’ Chunkin’ at Bald Eagle State Park. Click any of the images below and you will migrate to carousel views of two different launches … the x in the upper left will bring you back to this post.

7 thoughts on “Punkin’ chunkin’

  1. Punkin’ chunkin’ is a big deal down in Delaware. The Philly news stations usually make mention of it every year. I know some folks who’ve gone to the Delaware event … quit the big production. There’s even a TV show about it … but I know how you feel about TV (or used to). http://www.punkinchunkin.com/

    • I’ll have to update that post with your link. Thanks. Joanna and I remain disconnected from the outside world … at least as far as the television goes – still without it. We do have a DVD player however and are currently watching Attenborough’s BBC Earth production entitled Life – amazing photography.

  2. I have to say, I have never heard of it either, but around this time of the year, there seems to be a lot happening involving pumpkins, very strange indeed.

  3. Fantastic! Sounds like a great day and a great opportunity – I bet the air was festive and fun. We have a small-potato-event of pumpkin’ chunkin’ at our annual Pumpkin Party here at the farm. This year the winning “chunker” sent his pumpkin flying in a slingshot! The other complicated constructions were shamed by the old-fashioned sling! Looks like it was a picture-perfect day as well. Thanks for sharing the fun.

    • Yup. This is something we couldn’t resist. We did have a good time … and needed a few hours away from the Farm – and this fit the bill. The sleeve of Kettle Corn for the trip home was a great. By the way … just for fun … has the property of the ‘friend down the road’ been listed? I took a look to see where Bennington was and it seems a bit more to the west than we’d like – but it never hurts to ask and look. D

      • Bennington/Shaftsbury is one hour from the NH border – route 9 to Brattleboro is a one-hour trip. I take it often! Yes, indeed, I would be thrilled to send you the listing. Don’t know what your budget is. If it is out of your league (it’s WAY out of ours, but oh my, such a pretty place!), well I know of some other spots nearby and have a great friend that is a successful real estate agent! I’ll send the listing from my neighbors along – in an email?

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