October 1, 2008

Flying pumpkins on Chippens Hill

The smashing pumpkins are coming to Chippens Hill.
In less than a month, pumpkins will be hurled through the sky for hundreds of feet by contraptions that medieval armies might have used to turn fortresses into rubble.
Bristol’s second annual Pumpkin Chuckin’ contest, to be held at Roberts Orchard, will feature 5-pound pumpkins launched with a variety of catapults, slingshots and other devices to determine who can fling one the furthest.
“It’s just purely for fun,” said Jessica Dumont, the event’s organizer.
The winner, she said, is “the King Chucker, the Grand Poobah of Pumpkin Chuckin’.”
The pumpkin chuckin’ contest is part of the two-day Pumpkin Festival, which begins on Saturday, October 25.
The first day’s events, sponsored by the city and the Imagine Nation museum, will take place at the former downtown mall site.
They’ll include a costume parade, pumpkin seed spitting and the evening’s illumination of the carved pumpkins that people drop off.
“Some of them” last year “were so ornate it was unbelievable,” said Susan Roesch, a Federal Hill resident.
The following day’s pumpkin chuckin’ lasts from noon until 2 p.m. in the large field behind the Roberts Orchard store on Hill Street.
Dumont said that seven teams participated in last year’s pumpkin chuckin’, including people who brought their pumpkin hurling machines from as far as Boston and New Jersey.
“These men had huge machines,” she said, that could fling pumpkins the length of a football field or beyond.
Dumont said that last year’s competition was “really exciting” and interesting.
Anyone interested in constructing a device to throw pumpkins should get cracking, Dumont said, because it takes awhile.
She said there will be adult and youth divisions, but there are no prizes for winners beyond the glory of success.
For more information on the festival, check out its website here.

Check out the Waterbury Republican-American's slideshow of last year's event by clicking here.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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