Saturday, September 25, 2021

Deb's Place

Deb's Place
BTW, Deb's Place - Coffee Shop & Deli in Morrisville, VT, will be serving the food at tomorrow's VT Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

Update: 16 Days 'til Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival is now only 16 days away. On Sunday, September 26th the pumpkins will fly, winners will be crowned, chili will be eaten, and music will be enjoyed. Here are some notes and updated information that will bring you up to speed on what will be happening on Sunday at VTPC.

First, we unfortunately most announce that we will not be able to accept any credit cards this year at the festival. Please bring cash to pay for admission and any food you would like to eat.

Second, we will have a very large robot visiting us at the festival this year. Joshua Nye of Nye MechWorks will bring one of his giant robots to the festival. 

Nye Mechworks build giant robots for the DIY & and hobbyist, and document the process so others can follow their work and help us build the age of Mecha.

Joshua Nye and his big robot
Joshua Nye and one of his robots

If you would like more information about Nye Mechworks and to follow their work check please out these resources:


Third, the VTPC festival will once again feature live music by House Dunn and John Smyth.

House Dunn


Fourth, the VTPC festival will once again have a chili cook-off contest with a $100 first prize. If you would like to have free admission to the festival cook up a 2 gallons of your best chili and follow our cook-off rules.

Chili Cook-off Contest - $100 first prize


So with all of this said, please tell all of your friends and spread the work to come out on Sunday, September 26th from 11am to 4pm at Stoweflake Mountain Resort to support the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' festival and the Clarina Howard Nichols Center.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Press Release: 12th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

August 25, 2021

Contact Person: Dave Jordan
Phone: 603-630-4800
Charity name: Clarina Howard Nichols Center, Morrisville, VT

12th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa to Host 2021 Festival
Proceeds of September 26th event to benefit Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Stowe, Vermont, Aug. 25, 2021: This year marks 12 years of the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival (VTPC) which was awarded USA Today’s best fall festival in the nation. This festival celebrates the sport of “chuckin” pumpkins, for distance, using a do-it-yourself constructed trebuchet, which is a gravity powered catapult. Festival founder Dave Jordan describes the event as a cross between a Soap box Derby (amateur building/engineering) and a shot put contest (throwing for distance). The event is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to build something with their hands and engage in some family friendly competition. Last year’s competition was postponed due to the coronavirus, but 2 years ago, 10 year old Orion Stapleton won the overall event with a whopping new record of 780 feet!

The VTPC Festival is a one-day event and is sponsored by the Stoweflake Resort and Spa and many other local sponsors. The event benefits the Clarina Howard Nichols Center. Founded in 1981, the Center works to end domestic and sexual violence in Lamoille County.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 26th, 2021. The Festival runs from 11am to 4pm and features three rounds of competitive pumpkin chuckin at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm, with awards shortly after the last round. No dogs, outside food or beverage are allowed at the event. Admission to the Festival is $10 and parking is free. Food and beverages will be sold by Deb’s Place.

Along with the pumpkin chuckin contest there will be music, a chili cook-off, and kids activities; all creating an enjoyable fall day. Music for this year’s festival will be provided by two bands: House Dunn and John Smyth. No preregistration is required for the trebuchet contest or chili cookoff. There is plenty of time to build a fine trebuchet, or prepare your best chili for the chili cookoff.

It costs $10 to enter the festival if you are a spectator or trebuchet competitor, but you get in free if you make 2 gallons of chili and compete in the chili cookoff.

INFO: Specifications, rules, and entry information can be found on the festival’s website at or contact the festival organizer Dave Jordan, at

Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The 12th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival is only 29 days away

USA Today Readers' Choice Winner
Hi All, 

We are back and very happy to report to you that this year's Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival is a full go.

The 12th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival is on for Sunday, September 26th, from 11am to 4pm, at Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe Vermont.

We will of course have our usual trebuchet pumpkin hurling contest, along with food, plus our chili cook-off, and live music.

If you would like to compete in the chuckin' competition, please checkout our Official Rules and entry info.

If you have questions about the festival please contact Dave Jordan at tel: (603) 630-4800
or email: DJordan[at]

As a reminder, we won USA Today's Readers' Choice 2019 contest as the USA's favorite Fall Festival! So we hope you can all come out and have an afternoon of open air fun at the VTPC and support a worthy cause. 

Happy hurling to everyone and we will see you all soon.

Best Fall Festival: Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

12th Annual “Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival” postponed to 2021

Everyone could probably have anticipated that we had to do this. But, it still hurts to make the formal announcement. We hope to see you all next year.

Press Release:

12th Annual “Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival” postponed to 2021

Stowe, Vermont, June 16, 2020: Due to the coronavirus, the 12th annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival has been postponed this year until September 26th, 2021. Competitors now have an extra year to prepare and test their trebuchet. Thanks to the Stoweflake Resort and Spa for allowing us to use their beautiful event field and to the Clarina Howard Nichols Center and all the other sponsors and volunteers for helping run the event.

The festival has run 11 years in a row, and last year the festival won the USA Today Best Fall Festival in the nation! VTPC Festival is a fun, family event giving kids and adults a chance to build something with their hands and compete; a cross between a shot put contest and a Soap Box Derby. For the specifications, rules, current records and entry information please visit the festival's website ( for details.

Dave Jordan, event organizer: Email:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Texas Castle with Trebuchet

If you own your own private medieval castle then you must have a trebuchet to go along with it. That is exactly what Michael Newman has done in his Texas hometown of Bellville. Tiny (pop 4,000) Bellville is about halfway between Austin and Houston. There Michael has created his own medieval world, which he shares with the public. So if you are passing through south Texas check it out.

Michael Newman's Texas Castle and trebuchet

Michael Newman's castle in Bellville, Texas
Tour this Texas castle boasting a drawbridge, moat, and trebuchet --
Longtime resident Michael Newman could have gone down in history as the owner of Bellville’s much-loved Newman’s Bakery, which for 34 years has drawn a loyal patronage for breakfast specials like made-from-scratch donuts, sugar-dusted French toast, and over-easy eggs paired with buttery house-made croissants. But these days, visitors stop by the bakery for more than pastries and breakfast; it’s the first stop on a tour of a whimsical edifice outside of town known as Newman’s Castle, a full-scale replica of a medieval castle replete with five corner turrets, a 3,000-pound drawbridge, moat, and trebuchet.
Here is his website with many great pictures:
Newman's Castle -- Welcome to Newman’s Castle and Newman’s Bakery.
Mike Newman is the creative force behind both the castle and the bakery bearing his name.

Since exploring Europe in his early 20’s, he had the dream to build his own castle, and has made that a reality in the Bellville countryside. Exhibiting the same hard work and determination that built his successful bakery of nearly three decades, Mike broke ground on his mighty fortress in 1998.

“In the beginning…people thought I was crazy,” Mike revealed in an interview with Texas Live Magazine. Ten years later, and Mike could truly say that he is king of his own castle. “It makes people happy. They leave with restored faith that they can do anything.”
Here is a story that goes into the details about the construction of the castle.
A King And His Castle --
In the context of history, a castle is useless if it is indefensible, so Newman turned his attention to that challenge first. Austin County has hills but no mountains. Yaupons and oak trees offered little in the way of defense, but the presence of a pond and a couple of gullies on Newman’s property opened the possibility of a moat. Newman enlisted professionals to help build the moat and pour the castle’s foundation.

“When you build a big house on an island, you don’t want it to sink,” he said.

Newman, along with a single assistant, completed the rest of the construction...
Michael Newman king of his own Texas castle

Newman't castle has its own trebuchet
Final Hurl:
There are other castles in Texas. Check them out:
Exploring the Regal Castles of Texas

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Amazon's Modern Take on the Trebuchet

Amazon has patented a launch system that looks somewhat like a modern version of a trebuchet.

Amazon Whip Launch System
Amazon "Whip" Launch System

The patent is entitled: Energy-efficient launch system for aerial vehicles

The application says:
An energy-efficient launch system that utilizes the principles of whip dynamics to launch payloads at high speeds is described. The launch system may include a marine vehicle having an onboard power source. A tapered, superconducting cable may be retractably connected to the marine vehicle via a winch and electrically connected to the power source. One or more aerial vehicles may be coupled to and receive power via the cable. To launch a payload at the end of the cable, the marine vehicle, winch, and/or aerial vehicles may be operated in coordination to create, propagate, and accelerate a whip waveform along the cable toward the payload...
Existing methods of launching aerial vehicles generally rely on energy-inefficient processes. For example, in order to launch a payload at high speed, conventional processes utilize fuel, e.g., rocket fuel, to launch aerial vehicles. In addition, the fuel must be carried by the aerial vehicle that is being launched, thereby increasing the weight of the aerial vehicle and requiring correspondingly more energy to complete such a launch. Accordingly, it may be desirous to launch aerial vehicles and/or their payloads at high speed using energy-efficient, controlled and repeatable processes.
Whip it good! Amazon patents a launch system for snapping payloads into the air — or even into orbit