Pumpkin Chunkin and Milford, NH. Pumpkin Festival

October 12th, 2014

We met at Kimball Farms Ice Cream in Lancaster at 9 AM. Drivers meeting at 9:15 AM. After some delay while we waited for members who failed to show and didn’t call we were off to Pumkin Chunkin. We were nine cars. Ted & Jane DelDonno, Les Barton, Dave Rose, Dick & Jane Lyons, Charly & Vicki Busky, Steve & Marilyn Gauvin, MaryLou & Larry Hunt, Jean & Bob Brewer and our leader Ed Jutras.

As is almost always the case, we had a pleasant drive over well chosen Miata roads. The weather, as we started, seemed to be setting itself to be un-cooperative, but improved over the course of the day until some of us were in shirtsleeves. Jim & Debbie Gillis joined our group in Milford. We parked at the Milford High School, where a shuttle bus transported us to Milford center which was restricted for the festival to foot traffic only. We agreed to meet back at the bus stop at 1PM. The Pumpkin Chunkin main event was held at a farm outside the town.

Almost the first thing we came upon in the Pumpkin Festival was “Feed the Chipmunk” a sort of bean bag toss game. Given Ed’s checkered relationship with chipmunks it was impossible that we should pass up the opportunity to show a more benign side of our leader, Ed Jutras.

In our wanderings about the town we came upon the prize winning pumpkin weighing in at 1312 lbs. The prize for such a pumpkin was $600.00 The Milford NH. Pumpkin Festival had a small carnival many food booths, ample opportunities to buy fried dough and other select goodies. In the town hall banquet room we found many arts and crafts booths. On the river that runs through the town center a catapult was set up to lob pumpkins into the river, for $5.00 you could pull the trigger to lob your pumpkin into the water. Both Les and Ed took a turn at pulling the trigger. Business was as we watched brisk.

Once back at the high school parking lot, Ed led us to the farm where the se-rious Pumkin Chunkin had begun at 1PM. The air cannon is a significant ma-chine. The cannon hurled the pumpkins at very high velocity at two derelict vans parked nose to nose. Prior to being fired the pumpkins are dipped in water to lubricate the launch, else the pumpkin cook itself and disintegrate inside the gun barrel. Also available was a significantly smaller air cannon, for the children that fired apples at the same two vans. The gun crew on both guns made a production out of each firing, blowing a loud horn, shouting “Fire in the hole.” before pulling the trig-ger. The smaller cannon was doing brisk business. In both cases the spectacle was free.

Further over in the field, also launching pumpkins was a trype of catapult called a Trebuchet. With the same fanfare, horn blowing and shouting “Fire in the hole”, the trebuchet lobed the pumpkin sev-eral hundred feet, in a high trajec-tory over the field nearly to the tree line. There was some discus-sion about whether the pumpkins did or did not reach the tree line.

After a very satisfactory Ice cream break we headed out of town at about 3:30PM.
A very pleasant day, Ed. Thanks.

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