Updated: Punkin Chunkin Returning to Bridgeville for 2016 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Punkin Chunkin Returning to Bridgeville for 2016

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- Punkin Chunkin will officially be returning to Sussex County this fall.

Frank Payton, the board president of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association, has confirmed that the event will take place at Wheatley Farms in Bridgeville, where it was last successfully held in 2013, on Nov. 4, 5 and 6, 2016.

After an accident occurred and the farm was sued, insurance concerns led to several location changes and cancellations.

"There is a lot of liability for an event at this level," he said. "Of course what happened in the past and the Wheatley's not having us back... but now they can see that, we're doing our due diligence, we're doing our effort to make sure that we protect the farm,."

This announcement comes after a five-month search for a location, Payton said. The association will be paying nearly three times more than it last paid for an insurance policy with enough coverage to protect the landowner.

“There is a certain level of relief that we are returning to where we have been successfully able to hold the event but we still have a lot ahead of us”, said Payton, referring to the cost to put on the event. 

State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) worked with the group to help bring it back to Sussex County, where he said the tradition needs to be kept alive. 

"It's a tradition, and also the economic impact from having the event here can't be understated," he explained. "We've got a significant number of people that stay in our hotels, restaurants, camping at the site, they buy some of their supplies from the grocery stores in the area so it really does have a huge economic impact to the Sussex County, to the Bridgeville area whenever the event's held."

Punkin Chunkin has been a Delaware tradition since 1986. In 2013 the event attracted about tens of thousands of spectators.

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