Orange crush! Punkin Chunkin will send pumpkins flying in Aurora

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They're out of their gourds! For the eleventh year in a row, the City of Aurora is hosting its Punkin Chunkin, an event that features pumpkins being catapulted, shot, Gallagher-ized and mutilated in all sorts of ways.

Aurorans take their punkin chunkin' seriously, and the city expects 10,000 people to turn out at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds tomorrow. And like the squash it celebrates, the event just keeps growing. See also: - Aurora: Top five tourist destinations - Aurora's not exactly a tourist trap, but you might just visit it anyway.

"It hasn't always been called Punkin Chunkin," says Pat Schuler, manager of Aurora Parks Open Space and Special Events. "It was Jack-o-Launch for a long time. But now we're connected to the national Punkin Chunkin competition in Delaware. Whoever wins this goes on to the nationals."

And Inertia II, the pumpkin-propelling contraption created by Team Inertia that won last year's local competition, swept the nationals as well.

Angelyne the Amazing Deaf Dog will be performing at tomorrow's celebration, and 3 Star Monday and Dixie Leadfoot will provide musical entertainment. There will also be pony rides, pumpkin-carving demonstrations and a tricycle race with tricked-out three- wheelers. Since Dry Dock Brewery is a co-sponsor, you can expect quality brews in the beer garden.

The fun goes down from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free but parking costs $5; go to auroragov.org/punkinchunkin for more details.

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