18 October 2016

Punkin Chunkin Festival in Brasstown NC

The Hurlers of Pumpkins arrayed in glory
On Saturday we attended the 8th Annual Punkin Chunkin Festival in Brasstown North Carolina. We had seen a small sign near a bank in Blairsville and thought that might be fun. We figured it would be a typical festival with crafts and foods.
Imagine our delight when we realised this festival also included a variety of machines competing to throw a pumpkin as far as possible into the fields!
While perusing the craft and food stalls before the flinging began we overheard the excellent fellow on the microphone interview various visitors and demonstrators as well as promote the activities that were occurring.
At one point he announced he had a visitor from South Africa which he was sure was the visitor who had travelled the furthest. "Not so fast," we thought and wandered over to the flinging machines area to have a look, as that was where he was based.

Martin scales the inflated mountain
 As we were chatting with the various groups responsible for each of the machines specially designed for chucking pumpkins as far as possible I could sense he was edging closer to us.
"Do I detect an accent here?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied, "Australian."
"Excellent," he said as he came closer with his microphone.
"Where are y'all from?" he asked.
"We're visiting from Australia," I answered.
"You definitely get the longest travel award today! What brings you here? Have you been here before?"
"We used to work here about 12 years ago and my daughter was born here," I answered pointed at Rose, "We have been to Possum Drop before, which was fun."
He then explained to the listeners what a fine event the Possum Drop New Year's Eve event was and then turned to Rose.
"What do you think of America?"
"Well," answered Rose, "You all talk funny."
The MC stopped, about to burst out laughing but controlled himself and continued, "Well, I guess we do."
It was a fun interview.

Blue Tongued Cotton Candy girls
We tried Cotton Candy (which we call fairy floss), bought a really tasty home made Pumpkin roll cake and perused the craft stalls until the time came for the Punkin Chunkin to begin.
Many of these machines of pumpkin destruction have been built, maintained and upgraded over many years. There are even national championships held too!
After the first round of firing we left to prepare for friends to visit at our cabin. This was a great day.

Of interest is sun strength. The day was excellent with some patchy clouds and temperatures of 80+F (27C) and the sun shining strongly. We were concerned we would go bright red with sunburn as we would have on a similar day at home. But all we had was a slight red shade and no sun burn. In Australia everyone is encouraged to wear a hat. All school children have to wear a hat when they play outside and sunscreen is close to a necessity during Summer. At an event like the festival we would have seen 80% to 90% of participants wearing hats with brims with the rest either caps or rarely no head covering at all.
At the festival here maybe 10% to 20% had a cap or similar with the majority wearing no head covering at all.
It was an interesting comparison.

Been there. Got the T-shirt.

No comments: