Sure, you can eat a pumpkin — but if you really want to have fun, try smashing one. And what better way to smash a pumpkin than to give it a good heave so that it hits the ground with a little velocity? At this weekend's Punkin Chunkin Colorado at the Arapahoe Park horse track at 26000 East Quincy Avenue, more than twenty teams will do just that in an attempt to see how far the jack-o-lanterns will fly before going splat. And according to the city of Aurora, which produces the annual competition, Punkin Chunkin Colorado now has the honor of being the largest squash tossing event in the nation.
Aurora's messy tribute to the fall fruit earned nationwide bragging rights after the World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Delaware, which previously held the record, was canceled this year. Teams with names like Big 10 Inch (the current Guinness World Records holder), Inertia II (the two-time World Championship Punkin Chunkin Champion), and Big Red (the 2014 Punkin Chunkin Colorado Champion) come toting massive air cannons that can blast a pumpkin almost a mile in the air. Or, they use mechanical squash slingers called trebuchets, which don't achieve the same distance but hold a certain medieval appeal. Big Red's prize-winning blast last year traveled 3,260.1 feet before meeting the same fate as every other pumpkin the event.
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The two-day tournament will feature seven rounds of competition before a champion is named on Sunday afternoon. Punkin Chunkin Colorado takes place this Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets at the gate are $5 for adults and free for kids under 12. Aurora brewers Dry Dock and Mu Brewery will be serving beers and there will be plenty of other food, drinks and festivities. Check the City of Aurora's website for more details.