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Punkin Chunkin organizers want event back home

Punkin Chunkin
Punkin Chunkin

Organizers of Punkin Chunkin - the event where teams shoot pumpkins using various devices - want to bring it back to the First State if possible.

For 30 years, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) called Delaware home.

The gourd-slinging event was last held locally on a Bridgeville farm in 2016. That same year a woman was critically injured after an air cannon exploded and she was struck by a trap door and other parts.

After that, the event faced insurance issues and went dark until moving to Rantoul, Illinois in 2019 for a year before the pandemic sidelined it again

Punkin Chunkin Association president Frank Payton says attendance was down in 2019 and none of the 30 teams were from Delaware. He believes a return to this region could breathe new life into the event.

“Where we stand today is - we need to get motivated to bring this championship event back and try to keep it on the Delmarva Peninsula," Payton said. "That is the most important aspect to our fans, our contributors and our volunteers.” 

Payton says 200-acres or more of wide open farmland is needed to host Punkin Chunkin - and he hopes someone will step up by early next year so a comeback can be planned for November 2022.

The organization calls 2022 “crunch time” for Punkin Chunkin’s future.

Payton notes that if the event does not return to this area next year it will probably permanently move to Aurora, Colorado, which hosted a major “chunking” event in 2018 that was second biggest in the nation.