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Punkin Chunkin eyes 2019 return

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s gourd launching competition is back.


Punkin Chunkin announced on its website and in a Facebook post it plans to bring the event back to the First State this year after a two year hiatus.


A Delaware judge recently threw out a pending lawsuit against the nonprofit stemming from a 2016 incident in which a Science Channel producer covering the event suffered critical head injuries from a metal door torn off a nearby air cannon during a botched launch.


“We are not able to address any inquiries related to the termination of the litigation except to say that the case was resolved with no admission or finding of liability on the Association's part,” said event organizers in their online statement.


The statement also says event organizers are looking for 600 acres of land to hold this year’s competition. It says they will look to Maryland or Virginia if there is nowhere in Delaware to hold the event.


The first Punkin Chunkin was held in 1986.


It continued annually in the First State until a previous lawsuit over an injury suffered by an attendee in 2011 and related concerns over insurance costs forced postponements in 2014 and 2015.


The event returned in 2016 only to face the ne lawsuit stemming from the injuries suffered by the Science Channel producer at that year’s event.



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