Pumpkin contests are no longer the stuff of county fairs and street urchins running amok on Halloween night. Pumpkin sports are becoming quite popular in some parts of the country. This is the time of the year for pumpkin-y fun, so here are some of the ways people are having fun with pumpkins. Perhaps you can uses these ideas to get you started on your pumpkin sports career.
1. Paddlin’ PunkinsPumpkin Paddling continues to grow in popularity. Contestants make boats from giant pumpkins and compete in a race regatta. The largest such race is at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta in Maine. This particular festival has the usual growing, decorating and carving contests, but the great pumpkin races draw the biggest crowds.
2. Punkin Ten-Pin
Pumpkin Bowling is just starting to make inroads into the sports world. It has not reached regional and national competition levels…yet. The rules vary by region, but the goal is the same as boring old regular bowling – roll the pumpkin, knock down pins.
3. Punkin Chuckin’
Hurling pumpkins across wide open spaces has become quite a popular sport. Many communities and regions host punkin chuckin contests around Halloween. The biggest is the World Championship Punkin Chunkin, held the first weekend in November near Seaford, Delaware.
Contestants use their own inventions like compressed air cannons, trebuchets, catapults, centrifugal force engines, and good old human power to lob pumpkins as far as they can. Each type of chucker has a separate competition. The highlights will be broadcast on national TV Thanksgiving evening.
4. Underwater Punkin Carvin’
Taking old fashioned punkin carving to a new level, divers have added pumpkin carving contests to their underwater fun. It takes longer to carve underwater because pumpkins tend to try and float away. You also have to deal with punkin guts surrounding you as you finish this year’s masterpiece. Fish love pumpkin insides, so no worries about punkin parts going to waste.
Underwater Pumpkin Carving
5. Punkin Drops
As teenagers have known for years, dropping pumpkins off tall buildings is bowls of fun. There are now pumpkin drops for fundraisers, art, and just good-old splat factor.
The West Virginia University Engineering Department holds a drop where the goal is to encase the pumpkin in packaging that keeps the pumpkin intact at the end of an 11-storey fall. Materials are limited to what is safe for the crowd, they must be biodegradable, and they must be cleaned up within 30 seconds after the drop.
Boston University’s Physics Department drops pumpkins for art. They fill the pumpkins with paint, whipped cream, or other materials. The pumpkins are then dropped to the sidewalk from 70 feet above. The best punkin art wins. The Great Texas Pumpkin Drop lets participants pay to drop pumpkins from hot air balloons just to watch the pumpkins explode.
Dropping for splatter distance is a tradition at the University of California at San Diego. Every year they drop a giant pumpkin from the tallest roof on campus. The goal is to get the biggest splatter zone possible. The pumpkins are filled with candy, so students on the ground below get to sort through pumpkin innards for treats from the punkin piñata.
Charity punkin drops, such as the one for March of Dimes in Utah, are staples of the fall season. The March of Dimes lets people buy pumpkins weighing over 500 pounds. The pumpkins are dropped from a crane onto a car. What a gigantic mess for a great cause!
United Way Charity Pumpkin
6. Punkin Bombing
The St. Charles Flying Service in Missouri lets contestants drop pumpkins from air planes. The goal is to hit a target on the ground.
St. Charles Flying Service
These punkin sports ideas pack more of a punch than just making a jack-o-lantern, don’t they?
Do you have a favorite punkin sport to add to the list?
Source: Mental Floss