Competitors Upset Punkin Chunkin is Canceled for 2014 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Competitors Upset Punkin Chunkin is Canceled for 2014

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DOVER, Del. – Pumpkins will not be flying this year in the annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin festival, according to Dover International Speedway.

In a statement, speedway Senior Director of Communications Gary Camp said, “Moving an event the size of Punkin Chunkin is not easy even when time is not a factor, so both the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association and Dover international Speedway were cautiously optimistic that the event would go on as scheduled. Unfortunately, the collective decision was made to postpone the event until Nov. 6-8th, 2015. We both have certain standards that we set for this event and felt like we were not going to meet those standards, therefore we decided to press pause and reset for 2015. Both organizations are committed to hosting the event on Dover International Speedway grounds in 2015, and with one year of lead time, we are confident we will pull off a first-class event for fans, sponsors and competitors.”

As stated, the next Punkin Chunkin event will take place Nov. 6-8, 2015.

The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 24-26 at the grounds where the Firefly Music Festival is held.
Faith Hartman of Laurel and her family own the "Little Big Gun" air cannon. She says they've been coming to the event since the '80s and have owned their own cannon since 1999. 
Her 12-year-old son Philip was crushed when he heard the news that Punkin Chunkin was canceled just three weeks out from the event. 
" I'm a little bit disappointed this year. Usually I come to it every year, it's a really good tradition. I've been coming since I was five months old and I hate for it to be like this," Philip Hartman said. 
The Hartman's had already started gathering pumpkins and supplies for the event. 
"We've already bought stuff, we have made some improvements on the gun, which we're not quite ready to talk about," said Faith. 
The Hartman's were ready to use their new secret weapon for the big win. Now, they will have to wait another year to give it a try.  
Punkin Chunkin was in search of a new home for its 28th annual event, after a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed over an ATV accident at the Wheatley Farm in near Bridgeville, the event's home for the last seven years. The farm's owner said the risk was too high to continue hosting the event. Dover International Speedway just announced September 11 that it would be the new home for the event. 
In an email to members of the Punkin Chunkin Association, president John Huber said, "It became ever increasingly obvious we were at risk of providing a show/event that would leave many of you frustrated and dissatisfied.  We know you are disappointed and we we share that emotion with you having worked so hard this year to come so far only to have to face the reality that we were just not ready to execute. "

Punkin Chunkin will now be held Nov. 6 to 8 of 2015 at the Dover International Speedway. Punkin Chunkin organizers said anyone who already paid their machine fee can request a refund. Anyone who already purchased tickets online will also receive refunds to their credit cards. 
The Hartman's said even though there is no official event this year, they will still have their fun.
"We're going to have a Punkin Chunkin wake the weekend after Halloween and there will be pumpkins flying," said Faith Hartman. 

For updates on Punkin Chunkin, visit www.punkinchunkin.com.
To learn more about the Hartman's and their Little Big Gun air cannon, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-big-gun-air-cannon/147956935254451

 
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