Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Let's Build: Only 103 Days Until 13th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

Stripped-down Walking Arm Trebuchet
Stapleton Walking Arm Trebuchet

There are now only 103 days until the 13th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival on Sunday, September 25th, 2022.

Competing in the hurling competition is really easy peasy if you want to be part of the action. The key to quickly joining the competition is to go the route of building a simple "Stapleton" Walking Arm Trebuchet. Vermonter Jonathan Stapleton has done the world of hurling a tremendous service by showing everyone how to quickly build and set-up perhaps the most simple and efficient trebuchet possible.

On the Make.com website he has laid out all the plans and materials that a young person (<10 years old) would need to build a stripped-down Walking Arm Trebuchet that could compete in the lightweight division at the VTPC Festival. The time required for this project: 8–16 Hours (A Weekend). The difficulty level: Easy, and the cost: $0-$50. Plus, just extending the dimensions provided would give anyone the blueprint to build a trebuchet that could compete in the middleweight or heavyweight divisions.

500 Pound Walking Arm Trebuchet on Pumpkin Chuckin’ Eve

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

How to Build a Supersonic Trebuchet

The title of this youtube video is "How to Build a Supersonic Trebuchet." However, the inventor, Dave Eade, is correct to say in his description that this hurling machine might technically not be a true trebuchet. It should be put in the centrifugal class of catapults under the World Championship Punkin Chunkin rules. Their rules say: "To qualify (as Centrifugal Class), a machine shall spin at least one (1) revolution before releasing their pumpkin." Yes, centrifugal class times 50+, indeed.




Friday, October 15, 2021

Results of 12th Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival on Sept. 26th, 2021

We had a beautiful sunny day at the Stoweflake Resort and Spa for the twelfth annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival with 10 teams competing in the chuck, 4 teams in the Chili Cook Off, 31 volunteers and over 900 spectators enjoying the chuckin, chili, food, two bands, kid activities, games and a giant robot roaming the field. Over $12,000 was raised for the Clarina Howard Nichols Center (Morrisville) whose staff and volunteers did an amazing job running the festival. The Clarina Howard Nichols Center is doing great work and they did a fantastic job running the festival for the third year in a row!

Stapleton family sweep using the new “walking arm” trebuchet design!

For the 3rd year in a row, the Stapleton family dominated winning the Lightweight division, Heavyweight division and Grand Prize for best design. Jonathan Stapleton brought back his “Stapleton Stick” which consistently threw well out of the 600 foot field. We awarded him 750 feet, but it may have gone even further because we never found any of the missiles in the heavy brush! His son won the Lightweight division with a Murlin design. The “Stapleton Stick” design was copied by 2 other competitors and all the other designs (except one) were based on the floating arm design which dominated in years past. Only one trebuchet used the tried and true design from 2000 years ago with a huge oversize and overweight trebuchet which was there to put on a show and won 2nd place in the Heavyweight division. All the trebuchets performed amazingly well and kept the spectators there for the entire event because they didn’t want to miss any amazing chucks!

Special mention:

Ray Chamberlain from Moosilauke, NH won the Middleweight Open division with his floating arm design; his arm has won in the past at least twice. Normally his brother Ed competes with a heavyweight design, but he broke his arm (trebuchet arm, not human) just before the competition and stayed home this year.

Giant fighting robot:

Joshua Nye of Nye Mechworks brought his huge giant fighting robot. It is built on a snowblower and he rides inside the creation driving and operating the robot’s arms using switches. You can check out his website for more details: nyemechworks.com

Results of the trebuchet contest:

Lightweight Division (age 10 and under, trebuchet limited to 20 lbs. and 41”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $100 cash: Orion Stapleton from Vermont.

Middleweight Junior Division
(age 17 and under, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $100 cash: Steven McCann from Maine. (MAX D 23)

Middleweight Open Division
: (any age, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $100 cash: Ray Chamberlain from NH (Moosilauke Hurlers)
  • 2nd place trophy plus $50 cash: Tyler Barnard from VT. (Walker Texas Flinger)
  • 3rd place trophy plus $25 cash: Dan Roebuck. (Two Weeks Notice)

Heavyweight Division
: (any age, trebuchet limited to 500 lbs. and 120”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $100 cash: Jonathan Stapleton from VT.
  • 2nd place trophy plus $50 cash: Nick Helms (Weapons of Medieval Destruction)
Grand Prize Best Design trophy plus Umiak kayak trip for two prize: Jonathan Stapleton
Chili Cook Off:

The chili cook off was a great success with four competitors and running out of chili before the end of the festival.
  • 1st place trophy and $100 cash: Carter Peck
  • 2nd and 3rd place winners also received a trophy and cash prize.
Sponsors and Volunteers:

Thanks to our main sponsor, Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa for letting us use their beautiful field for free, as well as all the other sponsors:

Middle Weight Sponsors – Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate, Community National Bank, Jay Peak Resort, In Company.

Light Weight Sponsors – Casella, Deb’s Place, Donald P. Blake, Jr. Inc., Edward Jones – Caren Merson, Leaves of Change VT, N.A. Manosh, Nye Mechworks, Points North Physical Therapy, The Alchemist, The Bagel, The MSI Group, Umiak, Yellow Turtle.

Special thanks to John Prittie for being the Master of Ceremonies and helping for the last 9 years, to Amy and Molly for registration and calculating the winners, to Mike Dunn for excellent sound system and House Dunn (Mike, Isabella, Jocelyn and Julia, and John Smyth for great music, Joshua Nye for bringing his robot to the festival and to Dan McLaughlin for tent setup.

Please contact me with any suggestions for next year's festival or corrections to this document. Djordan@gmavt.net

We look forward to the next festival, Sept. 25th, 2022 at the Stoweflake.

Dave Jordan
Festival organizer
161 Henway Road
Morrisville, VT 05661

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pumpkin Chuckin' event returns in Stowe

There is a very nice story about our 12th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival over at NBC 5 by Krystin Rae.

Pumpkin Chuckin' event returns in Stowe

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
Email: Djordan@gmavt.net
Website: VTPumpkinChuckin.blogspot.com
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 www.vtpumpkinchuckin.blogspot.com or contact the festival organizer Dave Jordan, at Djordan@gmavt.net

Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa