Wa­ter­melon Blast set for Satur­day

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VI­ENNA — The in­au­gu­ral Great Amer­i­can Wa­ter­melon Blast will be hosted by Breck­en­ridge Ad­ven­tures, 4032 Mill Road, in Vi­enna be­gin­ning at 9 a.m. on Satur­day, Aug. 27.

The siege ma­chines of the pop­u­lar Punkin Chunkin event in Delaware will make wa­ter­mel­ons fly in the Dorch­ester County sky. The “ma­chines” take the form of tre­buchets, cat­a­pults, tor­sions and air can­nons, to name a few.

The melons will be shot at tar­gets, as op­posed to shoot­ing for dis­tance, which means lots of ex­plo­sions and smash­ing will en­sue. It’s sim­i­lar to the fall Punkin Chunkin event with pump­kins, only this time it’s in the summer with wa­ter­mel­ons.

“We wanted to ex­tend the fun of Punkin Chunkin to the summer,” said Frank Pay­ton, pres­i­dent of the World Cham­pi­onship Punkin Chunkin As­so­ci­a­tion. “We’re thrilled to be bring­ing this event to Dorch­ester County, and we can’t wait to see the dra­matic splats that th­ese wa­ter­mel­ons make.”

Through­out the day, teams will be launch­ing wa­ter­mel­ons in three rounds at in­creas­ing dis­tances — 200 feet, 300 feet, and 500 feet.

Fes­ti­val at­ten­dees will also have the op­por­tu­nity to try their hand at blast­ing a melon out of one of the ma­chines, with pro­ceeds ben­e­fit­ting Re­lay for Life. At noon, there will be a wa­ter­melon seed spit­ting con­test, as well as other games and events — plus juicy wa­ter­mel­ons for eat­ing, of course.

This fam­ily-friendly event will of­fer food and craft ven­dors on site with a band af­ter all the launch­ing is done, around 4 p.m. Al­co­hol will be avail­able for pur­chase at event start­ing at noon, but no al­co­hol will be al­lowed to be car­ried into the event.

Or­ga­niz­ers say they’ll have about 1,000 wa­ter­mel­ons ready to launch dur­ing the event. Event spon­sor Melon 1 is work­ing with a lo­cal farm to pro­vide the melons.

“The melons are ones that could not be eaten, so they’re not be­ing wasted,” Pay­ton said. “And the melons are smaller than what you typ­i­cally find in a store or mar­ket.”

Gates open at 9 a.m. and the event con­tin­ues through­out the day and evening.

Tick­ets are $15 if pre-or­dered on­line and $20 at the gate, pro­vided they’re not sold out ahead of time. Only 2,000 tick­ets will be sold. Chil­dren 12 and un­der re­ceive free ad­mis­sion. To pur­chase tick­ets, head to www.wa­ter­mel­on­blast.com or email info@wa­ter­mel­on­blast.com.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The 1st an­nual Great Amer­i­can Wa­ter­melon Blast will be held Satur­day, Aug. 27.

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