Today Only

For every donation received by 11:59 p.m. WHYY will provide a meal to someone in need in our region through Philabundance.

Double your impact

28 years of pumpkins flying through the Delaware skies

It was 1986 when a group of guys in Sussex County heard a story on the news about a physics class at Salisbury State University catapulting pumpkins.  That inspired a phenomenon that continues today.

So teams like American Chunker and Chunkin Under the Influence picked up this weekend where John Ellsworth, Trey Melson, Bill Thompson, and Doc Pepper began.  Those four were honored this past weekend for starting the chunk and putting Bridgeville on the Punkin’ Chunkin’ map.  The event has grown so big it now provides a weekend of reality TV for the Science Discovery Channel.

The weekend event began with news the organizers are being sued by Daniel Fair, a volunteer spotter in the 2011 chunk.  He claims in court papers filed last week that he suffered spinal injuries when the all-terrain vehicle he was riding in hit a depression in the field and he was ejected from the vehicle.  Fair claims he was not given proper training to be a spotter. John Huber, president of the association declined to comment to the Associated Press on the suit.

As for the pumpkins this year, The News Journal reports winds held down some of the high flying pumpkins.  The official Punkin’ Chunkin’ website has a list of all the participants.  We have a slide show of the weekend courtesy of our NewsWorks correspondent, Chuck Snyder.


Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.