Punkin Chunkin is a ridiculous name for a ridiculous Halloween event: a world championship pumpkin toss, held every year in Delaware. The three-day festival has a name that’s hard to pronounce out loud — there’s an inexplicable N where the M should be in “Pumpkin”, and “Chunkin” is not even a word — but the 20,000 spectators don’t seem to mind, they just want to see some pumpkins get airborne, with the inevitable messy landing.
Punkin Chunkin has been around since 1986, when four men decided to settle an argument over who could throw a pumpkin the farthest. Participating teams build devices and then compete to see which one can toss the seasonally appropriate gourd the best. Pumpkins can be rendered projectile via air pressure, centifuge, trebuchet, catapult or the good old-fashioned Feat of Human Strength. There are qualifying rounds, semi-finals and finals. The record is currently held by a team called Second Amendment, which uses a 14-ton air cannon to launch a pumpkin into the sky. Second Amendment has won Punkin Chunkin four out of the last six years; their winnig 2003 distance of 4,434 feet is the world record to beat.
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