Cape Gazette
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Punkin Chunkin goes Hollywood

By Ron MacArthur | Nov 26, 2012
Photo by: Ron MacArthur A crew films as a team prepares to fire its first shot of the competition.

It amazing that an event like Punkin Chunkin has attracted national (perhaps international by now) attention through TV coverage on the Discovery/Science Channel.

I guess it proves that old adage that everyone loves to see themselves on TV. Hey, I was in a scene within the first five minutes of the show televised Thanksgiving eve. I spotted myself a few other times as I jockeyed for position to photograph the event.

Punkin Chunkin is not what it was. It's become a TV event with some pumpkins thrown in for good measure. That attention has helped put the event on the map, added more money to the coffers and benefited more charitable organizations and students seeking scholarships. And we get to see a few Hollywood types once a year.

In the world of weird, it's made cult heroes out of people whose claim to fame is spending untold hours making pumpkin-throwing contraptions in their backyards. We learned this year the captain of the winning Chuck Norris team lost his job and girlfriend because of his obsession with pumpkins. When asked if it was worth it, he replied: “I'm the best in the world now.”

But, no matter how big Punkin Chunkin gets, let's hope the organizers never lose sight of the event's roots when a few guys got together in a field near Lewes to see who could chunk a pumpkin the longest distance. They were finding a use for leftover Halloween pumpkins.

Punkin Chunkin has gone Hollywood, but even Hollywood can't manipulate the essence of what makes Punkin Chunkin so appealing to so many.

And what is that? Darn if I know, but it sure sounds good.

 

Thanks to TV, Fat Jimmy, far right, has become the symbol of Punkin Chunkin. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Kari Byron, one of three TV hosts, works at the chunk. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
TV host Troy Belleci explains what is happening as the camera rolls. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Grant Imahara, one of three TV personalities of Mythbusters fame, talks about the engineering involved in chunking a pumpkin thousands of feet. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The all-powerful air cannons are ready on the firing line. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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