Punkin Chunkin goes Hollywood

A crew films as a team prepares to fire its first shot of the competition. BY RON MACARTHUR
November 26, 2012

It amazing that an event like Punkin Chunkin has attracted national (perhaps international by now) attention through TV coverage on the Discovery/Science Channel.

I guess it proves that old adage that everyone loves to see themselves on TV. Hey, I was in a scene within the first five minutes of the show televised Thanksgiving eve. I spotted myself a few other times as I jockeyed for position to photograph the event.

Punkin Chunkin is not what it was. It's become a TV event with some pumpkins thrown in for good measure. That attention has helped put the event on the map, added more money to the coffers and benefited more charitable organizations and students seeking scholarships. And we get to see a few Hollywood types once a year.

In the world of weird, it's made cult heroes out of people whose claim to fame is spending untold hours making pumpkin-throwing contraptions in their backyards. We learned this year the captain of the winning Chuck Norris team lost his job and girlfriend because of his obsession with pumpkins. When asked if it was worth it, he replied: “I'm the best in the world now.”

But, no matter how big Punkin Chunkin gets, let's hope the organizers never lose sight of the event's roots when a few guys got together in a field near Lewes to see who could chunk a pumpkin the longest distance. They were finding a use for leftover Halloween pumpkins.

Punkin Chunkin has gone Hollywood, but even Hollywood can't manipulate the essence of what makes Punkin Chunkin so appealing to so many.

And what is that? Darn if I know, but it sure sounds good.


  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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