Pumpkin Sling Lands in the Pocono Mountains at Pocono Raceway
One could say the idea of the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling began in the Poconos when organizer Giulia Iannitelli was attending the Shawnee Balloon Festival with her hot air balloon team and they had a discussion about of Punkin Chunkin.
“The Last Fling Pumpkin Sling is an officially sanctioned event of the Punkin Chunkin organization and abides by their rules.” Iannitelli works with John Huber one of the founders of Punkin Chunkin for this event. “He is a wonderful resource and has been a guiding light to the success and growth of our Pumpkin Sling.”
LONG POND, PA (October 18, 2014) - One could say the idea of the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling began in the Poconos when organizer Giulia Iannitelli was attending the Shawnee Balloon Festival with her hot air balloon team and they had a discussion about of Punkin Chunkin. Seven years later the idea that was planted in the Poconos became a reality and was hosted in New Jersey where it quickly took root and outgrew its original location. This year pumpkins will now be landing at Pocono Raceway the weekend of October 18-19, right where the idea began. Advance tickets for adults are $8 and $6 for children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are admitted free.
The Pumpkin Sling, while new to the Poconos, is well-known because of the Punkin Chunkin world championships televised on the Science and Discovery channels on Thanksgiving Day from Delaware. Iannitelli continues, “The Last Fling Pumpkin Sling is an officially sanctioned event of the Punkin Chunkin organization and abides by their rules.” Iannitelli works with John Huber one of the founders of Punkin Chunkin for this event. “He is a wonderful resource and has been a guiding light to the success and growth of our Pumpkin Sling.”
Over the years, the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling has attracted several machines that use the event as a practice and fine tuning session for the finals in Delaware. This includes the team Sir Chunks A Lot, from Berlin, NJ who have participated the past three years and are champions in the catapult division at the national event. They will be at the Raceway event as a demonstration team with a history of throwing in excess of 2,600 feet. In fact, they attribute their win and the placing and finished of two other teams at the Nationals to Iannitelli who owns a farm and, through her involvement in organizing the event, started to grow pumpkins just for the purposes of competing. They said, “You not only grew the pumpkins but also, through your efforts in organizing the Sling, gave new teams the chance to come together to compete and win.”
Moving from New Jersey to the Pocono Mountains and Pocono Raceway, a nationally recognized region and venue made sense because of its connection with agritourism. Iannitelli continues, “When we started the Pumpkin Sling we wanted to create an environment where kids could form teams and compete bringing the connection to farming and the fall harvest together. Our event has achieved that and more with over 20 youth teams and many farmers participating with sales of their products from baked goods to pumpkins”. The event promotes the use of the pumpkins and will donate unused produce to local food pantries. All pumpkins used in the competition are collected and used for fertilizer to ensure as little waste as possible.
The Last Fling Pumpkin Sling has lined up sponsors for this year’s event at Pocono Raceway including the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Bushkill Group Inc., Adams Outdoor, Pocono 96.7, Split Rock Resort and Harmony Press, Inc. The event is accepting applications for vendors and welcomes additional sponsors. A portion of proceeds from The Last Fling Pumpkin Sling will benefit the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army, the Rolling Thunder Mission, and the VIPER Program that assists with the transition and education of military personnel into the workforce.
The Last Fling Pumpkin Sling will run Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The event will include pumpkin slinging by catapult and trebuchet teams in both youth and adult divisions. The Sir Chunks A Lot demonstrations will take place three times daily both days. There will be a Kid’s Korner and activity tent sponsored by and benefitting the Pocono Arts Council with mini pumpkin slinging, a hay ride and children’s hay maze with proceeds benefitting the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army, ride tickets sold for Pocono Vertical Ventures with a jump tower, bungee trampolines and climbing walls, vintage car display, food and craft vendors selling their goods, and live entertainment each day. The MC for the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling will be Gary Smith the host of the Pocono 96.7 Gary in the Morning Show. For information and ticket purchase go to PumpkinSling.com. The inclement weather date for the event is November 1-2.
Iannitelli concludes, “We are encouraged with the growth of the event thus far and expect the relocation to the Pocono Mountains will expose us to a much larger audience both in new teams competing from the tri-state area and attendees. It is our goal to use the Pumpkin Sling as a pathway to growing awareness of agricultural tourism and its benefits to a region along with teaching young people how to incorporate math and science into their fun.”
Pumpkin Sling Packages available at Split Rock Resort, www.splitrockresort.com.
For vendor information contact the Pumpkin Sling organizer at their website, www.pumpkinsling.com or calling 908-339-8920.
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- Contact Information
- Giulia Iannitelli
- Executive Director
- Highlands Tourism Partnership
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