Chris Connelly: http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_conn/5180426650/
The 2011 Punkin Chunkin Championship will bring tens of thousands to Bridgefield, Del. this weekend.
Some call it a sport. Some call it a hobby. But whatever you call it, this weekend's Punkin Chunkin Championship promises to be a big hit, drawing tens of thousands of people to Delaware.
"I was 10 years old when I built my first punkin chunkin air cannon," says Jake Burton of Milton, Del., now 24. For him, punkin chunkin is a family affair -- his dad was involved in the very first chunk in 1986. "We've always been punkin chunkers," he says.
Burton's contraption is called "Young Glory." He describes it as a 1,300 gallon broiler tank with a 60-foot barrel on it.You pump up the tank, hit the valve, and escaping air blasts the pumpkin down the barrel.
Paul McLane of Reston, Virginia says it's a riot to watch: "Oh my god, how much fun can it possibly be to have big big toys and to take food and to try to throw it in distances that are measured in a fraction of a mile. It. Is. Fabulous."
Burton's team holds the world record of 4,483 feet.
More than 70,000 people are expected at this weekend's event in Bridgeville, Del.
For our next Readers' Review: National Book Award winner "The Good Lord Bird" by James McBride. The 2013 novel follows an enslaved boy who gets caught up in John Brown's abolitionist mission...and must disguise himself as a girl to survive.
Local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets will soon open in Anacostia, which suffers from a dearth of dining and shopping options-- but some within the community are decrying the opening as gentrification.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.