Head’s Up: Punkin’ Chunkin’ World Championships in Bridgeville, Delaware
If you’re a fan of the ABC sitcom Modern Family, you probably remember Cam’s famous “Punkin Chunkin” story, in which he lobbed a massive pumpkin the length of a football field with nothing but a sling shot. As it turns out, chunkin’ punkins has been a Bridgeville, Delaware tradition since 1986, and each year in early November, you can witness this strange and amazing event, yourself. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association, or WCPCA (yes, this is a real thing) hosts the Punkin’ Chunkin event, which is geared toward innovative engineering students. No simple slingshots here!
The WCPCA’s four co-founders started the first Punkin’ Chunkin event back in 1986, when they heard a story on the news about a contest to see who could throw a pumpkin the greatest distance. A couple of hand-made gadgets later, the men had devised an aerodynamic (and successful) way to throw a pumpkin further than they ever thought possible. Now, over 25 years later, the Punkin’ Chunkin’ is a nationally-recognized event that draws crowds of more than 80,000 spectators to watch 72 teams of engineering competitors mechanically toss 8- to 10-pound pumpkins. Ticket sales, on average, bring in over $100,000, which is donated in part to local charities and scholarships.
In addition to a variety of pumpkin throwing events (the world records range from approximately 800 to 4,400 feet, depending on the event), there’s a chili cookoff, stage shows and live entertainment. Admission to the three-day Punkin’ Chunkin’ World Championships is $10 per day, but parking is included. If you’d like to participate in the competition, registration begins on June 1 for first-timers, and March 1 if you have done this before. If you have done this before, or want to try it, I’m impressed. Head’s up!
By Leah Waldron