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Chunkers for a Cause
Why chunk pumpkins? Well, why not? The good folks of Bridgeville Delaware have made a sport out of it. A few friends got the pulpy idea after they learned about a nearby physics class throwing pumpkins to study mass, and thought it sounded fun! It started back in 1986, and it has since grown to an event which now draws crowds into the tens of thousands. The Annual World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' event is sponsored by the Punkin' Chunkin' Association. In 2011 there were 72 teams!
All money raised by the Association is contributed to charity.
The 2011 event was filmed by the Science Channel for a Thanksgiving premiere show.
Important 2014 Update: This year's event has been cancelled - largely due to problems with permits at new location. Next year's event set to go on as planned. Organizers say that timing was a factor. As the event grows, venues become more difficult to obtain.
Colorado's event takes place as scheduled.
Photo by vpickering
Categories of Design
The Punkin Chunkin' Machines
The devices used for punkin chunkin' have a couple of guidelines. They cannot be electric, and no use of explosives is allowed.
There are 6 basic Punkin' Chunkin' Styles. Each one has its advantages and special features.
The Classic Trebuchet come from traditional throwing devices which hearken back to medeival times. It harnesses the energy of a raised counterweight to propel or "chunk" the pumpkins. It may not be the most powerful, but what style!
The Centrifugal Style machine uses a standard engine to swing a long arm holding the Pumpkin in a large circle, gradually building up force and hurling the pumpkin at a breakneck speed!
The Catapult is the most basic punkin' chunkin' machine, which is basically a giant slingshot. The most ancient device on the Punkin Chunkin Field - the catapult was invented by the Greeks!
One of the most interesting is Torsion, which uses the force of unleashing a highly twisted rope. It can be really dangerous, so stay clear!
The most powerful so far, by far, is the Air Cannon. These cannons use compressed air held in by a valve, which when released, shoots the pumpkin high and far!
The last category is the most entertaining - the Theatrical category teams have no desire to chunk far, only to chunk with savvy and style.
There is actually another category, although it uses no machine, but is based solely on Human Power
Plus, there's Punkin Chunkin'!
"it's simply not possible to set the bar any lower. We could not in good conscience make science any more mindless or insultingly juvenile. We already have a show called Really Big Things, which is just ridiculous if you think about it, and one called Heavy Metal Taskforce, which I guess deals with science on some distant level, though I don't know what it is. Plus, there's Punkin Chunkin."
Science Channel president Clark Bunting
25th Anniversary Motto
World Record for firing a Pumpkin
A pneumatic air cannon named 'Big 10 Inch' holds the current world record by firing a pumpkin 5,545.43 feet. The world record shot took place September 9, 2010 in Moab, Utah (That's a little more than I mile, folks!)
The Yankee Siege - Giant Trebuchet
Team Yankee Siege has created a bit of a fuss! They came in and beat out the local champions, and raised the bar for technical prowess. They are the team to beat for sure!
Another team to watch? Team Chucky! They like to lay down the smack! Do they have what it takes?
More on Punkin Chunkin - and the Chunkers who Chunk
Nitty Gritty on the Pumpkin Chunkin Event and all the fun stuff about it!
- Punkin Chunkin
Unofficial 2011 results are now posted! Close Countdown to chunk! 2012-11-2 8:00:00 GMT-05:00
- Punkin Chunkin : Science Channel
Learn what punkin chunkin is all about!
- Pumpkin chunking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pumpkin chunking Pumpkin Chunking (also called Punkin' Chunkin', Pumpkin Chunkin', and Pumpkin Chucking) is the sport of hurling a pumpkin by mec
- Punkin Chunkin Pageant Blog
What? A Pumkin Chunkin' Pageant? Really?
- HowStuffWorks "What is a punkin chunkin?"
A punkin chunkin is explained in this article. Learn about a punkin chunkin.