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More Than Just Slinging Pumpkins at the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling

No exits in these here parts of Jersey.


Harmony Twp. NJ: There are a few events that seem to sell themselves, like a group of people coming together with medieval devices to see how far they can sling a pumpkin. Organizer Giulia Iannitelli of the Highlands Tourism Partnership admits being mechanically declined and not knowing the ins and outs of the devices. She states, “After hearing about the original group who puts on the World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Delaware, I knew we needed one of these events in our own back yard.” She adds, “We have so many wonderful farms out here and we want to share that beauty with people that are sometimes way too critical of New Jersey.”
The event claims it’s where brain meets brawn and being in New Jersey many would think this only happens by way of the Jersey Turnpike. But there are simply no exits in these here parts. Let the Highlands Tourism Partnership show you around town while you visit. October Vistas Foliage Bus Tours of the area will be offered free of charge with admission to the event. There are numerous trips planned for each day and space is limited. 
On Saturday New Jersey Audubon will be offering Interpretive Talks at nearby Merrill Creek between the hours of 9 am – 12 am. (Drive directly there or take a bus from the Sling.) John Parke from NJ Audubon will be stationed at the Hawk Watch Area of the Overlook with a scope. The first trip departs at 9:15 am and will pick up and drop off every half hour.
On Saturday the first two bus tours (9:30 & 11:30) will be guided by the Patricia Butler of Belvidere and you will be transported to the Open House at the Hoff Vannatta Farmstead, partly via the famous Thomas Edison Concrete Mile.
The Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently under restoration. See the progress being made. See live demonstrations, hearth cooking, war re-enactments and tour the historic buildings with Terry Lee, lifetime resident of Warren County.
Later in the day take a tour of nearby Morris Canal historic sites. At 12:30 hop on the bus and travel to the Jim and Mary Lee Morris Canal Museum. Here you can see the only original turbine still in its original operational position. Walk up the tailrace to see this massive piece of metal that along with a water source powered the Morris Canal. Hop on the 2:30 bus tour and visit Bread Lock Park and see detailed models of Lock 7 West (“The Bread Lock”), the inclined plane in Bowerstown, NJ, Shippen Manor, and the Oxford Furnace. At both you will learn about the marvels and innovations of the Morris Canal.
On Sunday take a trip to the Shippen Manor in Historic Oxford, an 18th century iron master’s residence associated with the operation of the nearby Oxford Furnace. Terry Lee, lifelong resident of Warren County will be your tour guide on the bus. At the Shippen Manor you will be greeted by a docent who will share with you details of the role of the Shippen Manor and Oxford Furnace in the Iron Ore industry of New Jersey.
On Saturday and Sunday 
Take a trip to Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm, a beautiful 10-minute ride down the mountain. From there you will take a hay ride to the top of their hill, where you will see beautiful views of Warren County, including the Delaware Water Gap. Wyckoff’s is an 8-generation farm. During the season they offer visitors hay rides that include the history of the farm and information about Christmas trees. If you have ever wanted to take this tour but passed due to cold temperatures, this weekend will be your opportunity! In addition to the bus trip from the Sling, Wyckoff’s will be offering hay rides and tours from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for those that wish to drive directly to the farm. Be sure to visit their display at the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling.
Plan to break away from the Pumpkin Slinging for about an hour and check out what our area has to offer in the way of ecotourism, agritourism and cultural heritage. Space is limited so if you miss your chance, pick up literature on our area, found at the registration table next to the greenhouse and farm stand. Visit the website and plan a visit back to the area this winter, spring, summer and, of course, the fall again for the annual Pumpkin Sling.


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