After any holiday ends, there is often a bit of disappointment. Weeks or even months of preparation culminate in a single day, and then it is simply over.
But it doesn’t have to be that way with Halloween this year. Once everyone finishes trick or treating on Wednesday night, there’s still an event that gives the holiday a proper send off.
And it is a literal send off, but not in any traditional sense. This year, if Hurricane Sandy didn’t already dispose of your jack-o-lanterns, you can skip the usual step of tossing them to the curb. Get rid of yours by sending them soaring into the sky and smashing into the ground at Great Country Farms Annual Pumpkin Chunkin’.
Great Country Farms is a 200-acre farm over an hour west of D.C., in Loudon County, near the small town of Bluemont, Virginia. Pumpkin Chunkin’ is a phenomenon that began in the 1980s, but has recently seen its popularity explode, thanks to numerous TV series on the Discovery and Science Channel covering it. In Pumpkin Chunkin’, teams build massive cannons and giant catapults to see who can propel a pumpkin the farthest, with some shots soaring over a mile.
At Great Country Farms, the construction is left to the professionals, with machines already built before you get there. But the chucking is all up to you. Pack you pumpkin into the farm’s “Silo Drop” or “Zip Wire Sploosh” and see it explode on impact. Or you can drop off ghoulish gourd to the farm’s drop zone. At the end of the day, every pumpkin that’s brought there is raised 40 feet in the air, on a large platform. Then the bottom falls out and hundreds of pumpkins falls from the sky, shattering in an orange explosion on the farm’s asphalt parking lot.
Alongside pumpkin chucking are plenty of other events to entertain. The farm has a corn maze and several rope swings to enjoy. Perhaps the most popular attraction is the giant “Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillow,” a large inflatable orange pad where kids under the age of 12 can bounce about. It’s like a moon bounce, but without the walls.
Admission to Great Country Farms during Pumpkin Chunkin’ Week, which runs from November 3rd to the 4th is $8 for kids and $10 for adults. The event takes place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you do make the trip to Great County Farms, there’s more than just the Halloween send off. As it is a fully functioning farm, there are plenty of activities to entertain and please kids and adults alike.
The farm’s Country Store sells produce that’s been freshly plucked on the grounds. They also convert their fruits into jams and jellies and make their own honey.
Great Country Farms also has a fully stocked pond where you can cast lines all day, with bait for sale in the Country Store. Unfortunately, it’s just for the experience and you can’t actually take your fish home. It’s strictly catch and release.
At their barnyard, you can visit the numerous animals the farm cares for, from miniature horses to emus to goats. Visitors can help with the grooming of the animals, or learn all about the intricacies and tricks of the farm.
It’s an educational and enjoyable adventure for all ages, and if you bring your pumpkin this weekend, also a smashing good time.
Latest posts by David Covucci (see all)
- The Decatur House's War of 1812 Exhibit Covers D.C. Lore - August 23, 2013
- Film Festival Brings The Drive-In Back To D.C. - August 14, 2013
- Unprecedented Putt-Putt at the National Building Museum - August 8, 2013