Punkin’ Chunkin' a Thanksgiving favorite in Delaware
Tory Belleci, left, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara host the 26th Punkin’ Chunkin’ competition.
November 24th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Punkin’ Chunkin' a Thanksgiving favorite in Delaware

It’s Thanksgiving night and the turkey is reduced to a carcass. The family is near comatose on the sofa, and the clicker is poised to turn on a football game.

It’s an American tradition.

But Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci from "Mythbusters" have other plans. They'll be hosting the 26th annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ competition in Delaware, airing tonight at 8 p.m. EST on the Science and Discovery channels.

Chunkers build machines, including trebuchets, air cannons and catapults, and use them to hurl the gourds as far as possible.

"Some of these air cannons are firing up to 4,000 feet," Belleci said.

Chunkin’ is quite popular in Delaware.

"Even the governor showed up," Belleci said.

"It is probably one of the most terrifying yet cool things," Belleci said. "I mean, we're around a lot of crazy stuff on ‘Mythbusters,’ but some of the machines that we're near is some of the craziest stuff I've ever seen.”

Some chunkers are engineers armed with calculations and computer simulations. Others are do-it-yourselfers who build contraptions in their backyards.

"I like to call it cowboy science, cause they're really hands-on and doing something somewhat dangerous," Byron said. "It's engineering with an adrenaline rush. It might be a guy from NASA, but it also might be a really amazing mechanic.

Note that chunkers won’t use just any pumpkin.

"They are specifically grown for this,” Belleci said. “They have very, very thick walls. They've been bred to be little projectiles.”

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soundoff (15 Responses)
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    April 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Nurse Roswell

    I cried when I read this. There are babies going to bed hungry in our country tonight because their Mamas have no food to feed them and these idiots are just wasting food in such a careless way. Shame on the Mythbusters! SHAME ON THEM!!!

    November 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chunker

      Oh, Brother!

      November 25, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • ruemorgue

      Please, have the Aliens abduct you and *never* come back.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • kgirl

      Shut up. Jeez.

      November 25, 2011 at 7:26 am |
      • Nurse Roswell

        Tell that to the hungry babies. Oh that's right, they can't shut up, because they are starving!!!

        November 25, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • get real!

      Get real, the pumpkins most people have out are decorative only, no flavour and very little nutritional value, they were bred to be big only.

      The whole "chunkin' " thing sounds like a great idea!

      November 25, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Reithena

      As a Delawarean, these pumpkin's aren't meant to be eaten. They have very little 'meat' on the inside to actually use for anything. Not to mention they work with Autism Foundation, Meals on Wheels, and many others! Go learn more before you start putting you assumptions everywhere. http://www.punkinchunkin.com/non-profit-partners

      November 25, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Thor

      People who can not afford food for their kids shouldn't of had them in the first place.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  3. James Nageotte

    How many spectators were there? I saw it on TV, no need for anymore pictures.

    November 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  4. Wastrel

    You need to follow the link or google it to see what's up. This article is lame.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  5. C. Smythe

    Holy Shmidt! I thought there might be some clips or pics . . . what a lame a$$ article ppsshhaw!

    November 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  6. chas

    I cant wait for this. Replace the pumpkins with rocks and you can have a midevil style siege. Now where are the pumpkin knights at.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  7. OldGoat

    I had an opportunity a while back to be at one of these punkin chunkin events. It was a lot of fun and I was amazed at the incredible variety of contraptions and contrivances that had been built for the singular purpose of hurling a pumpkin half way across the county. The folks that compete in these events are a hoot as well—some real "aww shucks" types. If you can attend a punkin chunkin don't miss the opportunity.

    November 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm |