A behind the scene look at Punkin Chunkin Colorado 2017
When it comes to hurling pumpkins, Aurora doesn’t mess around. Since 1998, Aurora has been host to the spectacular Punkin Chunkin Colorado, an annual event that draws visitors and competitors from around the United States. This year, we took a look behind the scenes as teams prepared to launch.
Team: Acme Catapult
From: Morton, Illinois
Year founded: 1996
As front men Doug Diefenbach and Bob Kruse will tell you, this isn’t their first rodeo. Based out of Morton, Illinois, ACME Catapult has been around the United States with their spring-loaded launching machine. What began more than two decades ago has grown to include collaboration with household brands and even celebrities. “We throw anything,” said Diefenbach and he’s not kidding. From launching pumpkins over 2,300 feet, ACME Catapult has tossed appliances, coolers, bowling balls, and even let Dolly Parton take a crack at launching melons in Hollywood, California. When they’re not preparing from the annual Punkin Chunkin Colorado, the ACME Catapult team is traveling the country partaking in other launching competitions. Their specially designed catapult uses high-intensity springs to launch items into the air while a connected trailer makes transporting the machine a little easier.
How’d they do? ACME Catapult team not only won their category but also set a personal best competition shot with 2,454 ft. at the 2017 event.
Team: Sonic Gourd
From: Amarillo, Texas
Year founded: 2011
The Anderson family turned launching pumpkins into a family affair. After drawing inspiration from the televised Punkin Chunkin Colorado event, Todd Anderson decided to create his own launching machine in 2011. “The next thing I knew, there was a propane tank in my backyard,” said Stephanie Anderson, Todd’s wife. With help from their kids, Macey and Keevyn, the Anderson’s designed a fully air-powered machine capable of launching pumpkins 3,840 ft. “There’s a lot of comradery among the teams, everyone cheers everyone on,” said Stephanie. Sonic Gourd is tasked with competing against four other teams. As Todd explained, each team is allowed three shots for accuracy and three shots for distance. This first-time Aurora competitor is looking to show their strength at this year’s launch with a brand-new machine.
How’d they do? Sonic Gourd set a new personal record on Oct. 8, 2017, of 3,941 feet.
Aurora’s notorious Punkin Chunkin Colorado attracted thousands of festival goers ready to catch a glimpse of flying pumpkins. You can learn more about Punkin Chunkin Colorado by visiting the City of Aurora’s website.