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Punkin' Chunkin could go virtual this year

Things may be approaching a “new normal” for many, but not for the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association.

Organizers are considering making this year’s gourd hurling event virtual.


"We still want to use the machines that we built for fun to chunk pumpkins this year, and we still want to compete against each other to see who is the world champion," said Frank Payton, president of the World Championship Punkin Association.


Payton says they intend to go on with the event, but adds safety is the main goal.

Payton notes each competitor has their own space to practice, and in the COVID-19 world, the competition will have them use their spaces while trying to incorporate a virtual aspect to the event.

"So what we're going to do is come up with the guidelines in which these machines will pick a date, a predetermined date and time that they will fire any of their three shots and under certain criteria be able to measure and report those back to the world championship," said Payton. "We're trying to work out the details on how to keep this interactive with social media."

Payton says there are some hurdles still, but the plan is to make it fun.

“We hope that depending on the legality and the insurance backing that we are currently investigating that we can open this up like if it were a regular event obviously without congregating on a single location but we want to keep this as interactive as possible," said payton. "Really why Punkin Chunkin all got started was guys wanting to have fun, women wanting to have fun."

Payton says they were trying to iron out details for a new venue to hold the event as usual before the pandemic, but COVID-19 halted that process.

Payton hopes to have final details for this year’s event in place by August 1.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.