Pumpkins fly at 8th annual Punkin’ Chunkin’

Punkin Chunkin in Clayton

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Clayton fall tradition has returned. The goal? Hurl pumpkins into the St. Lawrence River.

It's Clayton's 8th annual Punkin' Chunkin' Festival, combining science with fun.

Teams have spent the last few weeks tuning up their Trebuchets, or catapults, to launch dozens of pumpkins into the great St. Lawrence.

Teams work on their catapults in Clayton's Punkin' Chunkin'
Teams work on their catapults in Clayton's Punkin' Chunkin' (Source: wwny)

David Neuroth, head of the youth division, said, “The kids themselves learn about organization. They're not given too many rules about how to make their punkin' chunkin' machine. They can be as creative as they want to be.”

A total of twelve catapaults lined Clayton’s docks, each with their own unique design.

“Science really helps us on our accuracy on how far we’ll go,” said Aveline Hellings with Girl Scout Troop 50286. “We’ve done practices with little catapults to make our design come together.”

In the adult division, team Antique Artillery has spent countless hours on a 25 foot trebuchet. They say it’s an experience unlike any other.

“It’s the old adage of the only difference between men and boys is the size and the price of the toys,” said Antique Artillery team member Patrick Mooney. “And it’s a big toy, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Trebuchets line the dock in Clayton for the 8th Annual Punkin' Chunkin'
Trebuchets line the dock in Clayton for the 8th Annual Punkin' Chunkin' (Source: wwny)

Organizers say Punkin’ Chunkin’ is a major draw to the area, bringing in thousands of people to watch the pumpkins soar.

The farthest pumpkin chuck of the day? 1,600 feet. And 7News’ own Jeff Cole emceed the event, something he’s done each year, since the festival got its start eight years ago.

Copyright 2019 WWNY. All rights reserved.