Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)
Pumpkin Olympics: Rural games create fun and funds — and feed some farm animals At Glen Run Valley View Farm: The big crop is not wasted after the smashing is done
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the pumpkins that are left over after Halloween?
If they are not sold for jacko’-lanterns, where do they go?
Some of them end up in the Pumpkin Olympics where they are tossed, carried, chunked or smashed.
At Glen Run Valley View Farm, pumpkins are a big crop. They are grown and sold through Halloween, but then the popularity of pumpkins plummets. Jeff and Rhonda Stoltzfus have found that their cows love the taste of pumpkin, so none of their crop goes to waste, but there is another outlet as well.
Fif teen years ago, the Stoltzfus’ invited friends and family over to have some fun with pumpkins. It was an Olympic year, so they took that as inspiration and invented their own pumpkin games.
Over the years, the Pumpkin Olympics have turned into an event for the entire community, with proceeds now going to the Parkesburg Point Youth Center.
On Sat. Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyone is invited to join in the sport of pumpkin weighted carry, “got to go” pumpkin race, pairs pumpkin race, and pumpkin throwing competitions. There is also cow patty bingo and a pumpkin pie eating contest. If you need more than pie, enjoy
many other pumpkin flavored treats including the ver y popular pumpkin sloppy joes.
“There’s plenty of things to do and things to see, and great food,” Rhonda Stoltzfus said.
Using pumpkins for sport is nothing new. The pumpkin chunking national championships are held in Delaware, and this year, there will be at least four professional level pumpkin chunking devices hurling pumpkins for fun and distance at the Pumpkin Olympics.
Getting a pumpkin to fly 1,000 to 1,700 feet or more depending on weather conditions will not be unusual, but the biggest event comes at the end of the day.
When the Pumpkin Olympics are over, the cows get their turn to eat what is left of the crop, but they have trouble biting a whole pumpkin. The solution is the pumpkin avalanche.
“Probably the pump chuckers draw more people to come, but the avalanche is as much of a crowdpleaser after they’re here,” Stoltzfus said.
Dumptuck loads of pumpkins are sent rolling downhill rumbling and roaring as they pick up speed and smash into each other.
Once the dust has settled, hammers are grabbed to help smash the survivors.
The pumpkin avalanche has become such a favorite event that extra pumpkins are trucked in to add to the volume of the event.