Chuckin’ the Season’s Most Popular Squash
Preparations are underway for a traditional festival in Grand County. Moab’s 8th Annual Pumpkin’ Chuckin’ Festival on Saturday, Oct. 26, will feature the traditional community faire of food, music, and games. Unlike other family friendly events, this one will also include the tossing, smashing, and flinging of a popular seasonal squash - the pumpkin.
“We are going to have a ton of kid’s activities," said Delite Primus, Executive Director of Moab’s Youth Garden Project. "There is so much out here for kids to do."
Volunteers and organizers from the Youth Garden Project sponsor the day’s activities to help raise money to support after-school programs, the Moab Gardner’s Market, and community outreach activities. The event is their largest fundraiser of the year and in the past has included pressurized cannons used to propel the produce.
“Our furthest one was just over a mile,” added Primus. “And they set a Guinness Book of World Records here a few years ago. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to compete here on the soccer fields. But we will have slingshots, catapults, and trebuchets shooting pumpkins through the sky.”
Vendors are hanging banners, placing home-made marmalade and jellies and arranging decorated gourds on tables set up on the community soccer fields. After seven years of pumpkins being chucked in an open area known for red sandstone and slick rock, the location of this year’s venue will be moved to downtown to accommodate the more than 2,000 festival goers.
Other events include pumpkin seed spitting and pie eating contests. Prizes will also be given to participants wearing costumes. But besides chucking pumpkins, Primus said the most popular event is the Weiner Dog Races.