Pumpkins will fly over Kent County

Move to Dover could mean expanded schedule
Air cannons are ready on the firing line of World Championship Punkin Chunkin. The fall tradition is moving out of Sussex County for the first time. BY RON MACARTHUR
September 24, 2014

It's official. With a vote of 72-5 by its members, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association will take its event to Dover International Speedway in Kent County.

This is the fifth move since the event's humble 1986 start in Lewes as a competition among friends who were looking at ways to use leftover Halloween pumpkins.

John Huber, association president, said the new venue may allow an expansion of the event to more than one weekend. “We are working out the logistics, but we could move the event to two weekends,” he said, adding team and association members will have the final say on any expansion of the schedule.

The relocation marks the end of a nearly year-long property search following notice by the previous host, Wheatley Farms Inc. near Bridgeville, that the annual event had grown beyond what the farming operation could support; the event took place seven years at that location.

Several in-state and out-of-state options were explored, Huber said, before the selection was narrowed down to Dover.“During this first year there are some unknowns; it's always trial by fire when we move,” Huber said.

He said new sponsors are signing on, some expenses could be reduced and the Discovery Science Channel is confident the move will benefit the show. The channel airs Punkin Chunkin each Thanksgiving. “I think the event is only going to get bigger,” Huber said.

Punkin Chunkin is scheduled for Oct. 24 to 26.