Three-time world's-record punkin chuckers, the Aludium Q-36 of
Morton, will attempt to break their own record of 4,860 feet set in
2001, in hopes that their quest for the elusive one-mile chuck won't
be just "pie in the sky."
Contest categories include the
traditional hand-tossed; two youth divisions, segmented by age
group; adult human-powered; and an open class. Open class
competitors use machines, other than human-powered, to launch the
pumpkin. Subcategories within the open class are unlimited
trebuchet, with gravity propulsion; unlimited catapult, with
propulsion using springs, twisted rope or other means; unlimited
centrifugal, by means of centrifugal force; and unlimited air
cannon, with air tank and barrel. A high school project curriculum
is available upon request.
Two of the contest rules prevent competitors from using
explosives of any kind and require the pumpkin to leave the machine
Participant entry fees range from $1 for the hand-tossed to $35
for open class. Advance registration is available at
Machine entries will be accepted up until 9 a.m. on the day of the
event. Prizes range from Pizza Hut gift coupons to monetary awards
in the open class. Overall contest winners also receive a traveling
The highlight of the two-day event is the compressed-air-powered
cannons, with some machines boasting barrels of more than 100 feet
long in past contests.
The three Morton service organizations will host the event at The
Pumpkin Farm, located at the intersection of Springfield and
Allentown roads in rural Tremont.
Cost to attend the event as a spectator is $5 per vehicle per
day. Gates open to spectators at 10 a.m., with the contest scheduled
to begin around noon.
There will be live music, kettle corn, rides for the kids and
fall decorations for sale, too. A food tent will be open at 10 a.m.
and will feature rib-eye steak sandwiches, hot dogs, hot pretzels
and several pumpkin delights.
Morton is the governor-proclaimed "Pumpkin Capital of the World,"
with approximately 85 percent of the world's canning pumpkins being
canned in the Morton area.
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Punkin chuckin': The fine art of throwing innocent pumpkins
intact from one's hands or a variety of machines with the goal of
making pumpkins fly for distance.
First Punkin Chuckin' contest: Lewes World Championship
Punkin Chunkin' contest began in 1986 in Lewes, Del. A group of
local men sat in a blacksmith shop arguing over which of them could
throw an anvil the farthest. With no anvils handy, the men threw
pumpkins, and the contest was born.
Current Guinness Book of World Records pumpkin chuck:
Morton's Aludium Q-36, at a distance of 4,860 feet in 2001. Machine
designed and built by Parker Fabrication, Litwiller & Sons
Excavating, and Wherry Welding.
The Acme Catapult Co., a group of central Illinois guys, have
been in the Morton contest all 12 years. In 2000 they traveled to
Lewes, Del., to the world championship, set a world's record of
1,603 feet and took first place. In 2006 they shot their farthest,
2,066 feet, at the Morton contest. They were featured on Jay Leno's
show throwing appliances with Dolly Parton. To learn more about
Morton's event has drawn national and international attention
from publications such as the London Times, Newsweek, Popular
Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, the Food
Network and Midwest Living Magazine.
[Text from file received]