Punkin Chunkin to get a homecoming in Bridgeville
After two years of failing to get off the ground, organizers say Punkin Chunkin will return to Sussex County in 2016.
Officials made the announcement Saturday, saying they had worked out a deal with Wheatley Farms in Bridgeville to host the event.
Wheatley Farms was the last place to successfully hold Punkin Chunkin back in 2013, but owners had liability concerns when a volunteer sued after an accident.
Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) has been working to retain the event in Delaware and says some changes are coming -- like not allowing outside alcohol -- but he says that may be ultimately for the better, making it more family friendly.
“I think that’s important, too, because then the children that are coming there are going to gain interest in it and possibly come when they’re able to as well,” Pettyjohn said.
Punkin Chunkin considered moving to Dorchester County, Maryland just to not miss a third year in a row.
Attempts in 2014 and 2015 at Dover International Speedway never panned out as organizers couldn't cement the proper logistics -- including insurance coverage.
Pettyjohn says he had real concerns about them leaving the state.
“It would have definitely been a loss. A lot of the local businesses definitely saw an uptick in business during the time of [Punkin Chunkin] -- people coming to different restaurants, gas stations and even some of the hotels.”
He says he recently organized a meeting among Gov. Jack Markell, Delaware Economic Development Office personnel and Punkin Chunkin officials to organize potential marketing campaigns to drive home that the event will take place this year.
Should the new agreement hold, the sky will turn orange with flying pumpkins Nov. 4-6.