A different kind of Punkin Chunkin returns to Delaware

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 (Chuck Snyder/for NewsWorks)

(Chuck Snyder/for NewsWorks)

After a one year hiatus, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association has signed a deal with Dover International Speedway to launch pumpkins.

In a déjà vu inspiring announcement, WCPCA officials detailed their plans for the 28th Punkin Chunkin event to be held on the grounds of Dover International Speedway. A similar announcement was made last summer, but the 2014 event was canceled.

“We just didn’t have time last year to put the event together up there,” said WCPCA’s Frank Shade.

For years the event had been held at a farm in Sussex County, but a lawsuit filed by a volunteer who was injured at the event scared off farm owners from hosting the chunk. That lawsuit was settled on undisclosed terms earlier this summer, but with this new arrangement the pumpkin tossing event is back on.

The event will be held on Nov. 7-8, but it will be a different type of chunk this year. Shade described it as a throwback to the event’s roots. Every pumpkin toss won’t be measured, which means attendees will see more shots because chunkers won’t have to wait for the crew measuring the distance to clear the field.

“The machines will be in what we refer to as free-fire mode the entire time,” Shade said. “We will be doing some target shooting with the air cannons, which is always a treat.”

Targets could include motor homes, campers, and maybe even a NASCAR stock car from the speedway. “People get excited when you tear things up and these pumpkins being shot out of these air cannons are fully capable of tearing up anything.”

Not measuring throws is the way the event started nearly 30 years ago, so event organizers are optimistic the fans will enjoy the change. “While this year’s event won’t be one where we are throwing for overall distance, we are confident that it’s going to be the best show for the crowd that we’ve ever put on,” said Ricky Nietubicz, WCPCA president. 

The event will utilize part of Dover International Speedway’s property that has become home to the Firefly Music Festival over the past four years, and this year, played host to a second festival, Big Barrel.

“Punkin Chunkin’s fun-loving fan base, teamed with our infrastructure and experience with hosting large-scale events, should make for a terrific event this fall,” said DIS president and CEO Mike Tatoian.

Tickets for the event are $10 per day or $16 for the weekend and are now on sale at: PunkinChunkin.com

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