Dave Jordan

2017 pumpkin chuckin’ action in Stowe from a fairly elaborate trebuchet.

The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival returns this fall to Stowe for its 12th year, Sunday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa, Mountain Road, Stowe.

The festival celebrates the sport of “chuckin” pumpkins for distance, using a do-it-yourself constructed trebuchet, which is a gravity-powered catapult. Festival founder Dave Jordan describes the event as a cross between a Soap Box Derby (amateur building and engineering) and a shotput contest (throwing for distance).

The event can also be an opportunity for kids of all ages to build something with their hands and engage in family friendly competition. Last year’s competition was postponed due to the coronavirus, but two years ago, 10-year-old Orion Stapleton won the overall event with a whopping new record of 780 feet.

There are three rounds of competitive pumpkin chuckin’ at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., with awards shortly after the last round. No dogs or outside food or beverage are allowed at the event.

Along with the contest there will be music, a chili cook-off, and kids activities. Music will be provided by the bands House Dunn and John Smyth. The event benefits the Clarina Howard Nichols Center. Founded in 1981, the center works to end domestic and sexual violence in Lamoille County.

It costs $10 to enter the festival but you get in free if you make two gallons of chili and compete in the chili cook-off.

More at vtpumpkinchuckin.blogspot.com or djordan@gmavt.net.

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