Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival

The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival returns to Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe Sunday, Sept. 29. In the 11th annual event, participants build gravity-powered catapults to fling pumpkins as far as they can go.

Festival founder Dave Jordan describes the event as a cross between a soapbox derby and a shot-put contest. Kids and adults of all ages are encouraged to build something with their hands and engage in family-friendly competition. Participants can be individuals, or teams of up to eight.

Three rounds of competitive pumpkin chuckin’ will be held at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., with awards shortly after the last round.

A chili cookoff will also be held — bring 2 gallons of your best chili to enter the contest; admission is free for chili cooks. Serving begins at 12:15 p.m.

There will also be live music and kids activities to round out an enjoyable autumn day. Music for this year’s festival will be provided by two bands: House Dunn and John Smyth.

Last year, Orion Stapleton was the first kid competing in the lightweight category to win the overall contest, demolishing the competition with his trebuchet “Demolisher,” landing a new record of 780 feet (scaled up for competition purposes); beating his dad Jonathan Stapleton’s heavyweight throw by 30 feet, and beating his sister Emmerson’s previous record, held since 2016 with her trebuchet “Destroyer.” The Stapletons have designed an innovative trebuchet style called the “walking arm” — visit the Pumpkin Chuckin’ website to see videos and instructions.

No dogs, outside food or beverage are allowed at the event. Admission to the festival is $10, and parking is free. Food, beer and wine will be sold by Stoweflake.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Clarina Howard Nichols Center, which works to end domestic and sexual violence in Lamoille County.

Specifications, rules and entry information can be found at vtpumpkinchuckin.blogspot.com, or contact festival organizer Dave Jordan at djordan@gmavt.net.

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