So I thought it might be interesting to start a series on random, weird, interesting, fun things to do or places to go before you die. For our first installment, I’ll review one of Delaware’s freak-show; I mean side-show attractions called the Punkin Chunkin. When I first heard about it, I said, “huh?” Then I thought…awesome, I want to see that. But alas, I missed the 2009 event. There’s always next year—I hope.

I realize that some of you are still wondering what a Punkin Chunkin festival is, so I won’t delay any longer. And if you’re the game-show type I bet you already have it figured out. People build trebuchets (that’s a real fancy 50-cent word for catapult) and cannons and toss pumpkins in the air to see how far they can go.

This Thanksgiving at 8 p.m. the science channel is actually hosting a show that will honor the “engineers” that participate in the festival. Here is a blurb from the Web site.

“Punkin Chunkin covers every angle of the intense competition from growing special, aerodynamic pumpkins and determining the perfect pumpkin’s mass to the mechanics of the air cannon and the physics of catapults.”

Now that is serious stuff folks. Visit the site to get the low-down on next year’s festival, shop for chunk gear, and order the DVD of the official World Championship Punkin Chunkin. And finally, if you’re planning on going next year, practice the anthem so you can sing along at the opening ceremonies.

The Punkin Chunkin Anthem, written in 1989 by William and Dawn Thompson

      It was the end of October, the beginning of November.
     The air was cold and clear and I said, boys listen here,
     I think I can make a punkin fly.
     John said, cannot. I said, can too.
     So we put that punkin in a bucket, swung around, away it flew.
     John said, no fair. We said, hell, it’s in the air.
     So the challenge was made and the gauntlet was laid
     To build a machine to power a punkin through the air.
     John said, springs are the way to go. Bill said, I don’t believe so.
     It’s Punkin Chunkin time again.
     Come on, all you neighbors and friends.
     I’ll show you how to make a punkin fly … rain, snow, or blow.
     Them punkins are gonna go!

Here are a couple of photos from the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. Yup, there’s an association for this.

Punkin Chunkin fans

The Punkin Chunkin Munchkin