Grand County residents and visitors from as far away as Salt Lake City and several towns in Colorado gathered Saturday to see pumpkins fly.
And fly they did during the seventh annual Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival, a fundraiser for the Moab Youth Garden Project.
“It was a great turnout,” said organizer Delite Primus. “We had about 2,000 people.”
There were nine teams of pumpkin chuckers. The Grand County Middle School BEACON program won the youth slingshot division while the Grand County High School team took first in the youth trebuchet competition. Moab Charter School was the winner in the adult trebuchet competition, and air cannons, which were not scored in the competition, were shot for the enjoyment of the crowd.
“We came down specifically for this festival,” said Warren Pettey of Woods Cross, whose daughter Annalise, 3, was dressed brightly for the occasion.
Likewise, Jessie Mathews drove from Durango, Colo., to see the event for the second time. Her son, Jason, 6, looked happy in his ninja costume while riding a horse provided by the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo Club.
Practice paid off in the beanbag toss game for 8-year-old Lorenzo Lohse of Silt, Colo. He threw three of four bags into a bucket to win a prize. His father, Kent, said his son tuned up at home by shooting small basketballs in the basement. They came for the festival and some hiking afterward in Arches National Park.
Ray Meyer and his friend Lisa Wagner journeyed from Red Stone, Colo.
“We came just for the seed spitting contest and the local pubs,” Ray said with a grin.
The festival is held each year near Halloween at the Old Airport Runway south of Moab. Other activities at this year’s event included a pie-eating contest, costume contests, the annual weiner dog race, live bluegrass music and a performance by Moab’s own Fiery Furnace Marching Band. A variety of arts and crafts, food vendors, game booths and other activities were also available throughout the day.