Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Craft Fair Vendors

This year's Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival on October 1st will have over 35 Craft Fair vendors selling pottery, jewelry, maple products, candles, honey, macrame, clothing, artwork, woodworking, knitted items, & much more! Here is our poster...

Thursday, September 7, 2023

14th Annual VTPC Poster

14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival poster

Pumpkin Chuckin' 2023 - Sunday, October 1st - Schedule of Events

 8:00 AM:     

  • Trebuchet contestants begin setting up
  • Volleyball set up and registration

9:00 AM:     

  • Volleyball tournament begins

11:00 AM:     

  • Doors open to public
  • Food trucks open
  • Craft Fair starts 
  • John Smyth (local singer/songwriter) begins performing
  • Kid activities start
  • Trebuchet registration


  • Deadline for Chili Cookoff contestants
  • Giant Robot demo

11:45 AM:     

  • Kirkland the Band begins performing

12:00 PM:     

  • Festival introduction covering rules and motivation for event
  • Chili Cookoff starts: Tastings begin, public vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place

12:30 PM:     

  • First round of chuckin'
  • Announcing by Sean Morrissey and Jake St. Pierre from the award winning local
  • TV program “Grand Isle Back Yard”
  • Stowe track team provides accurate measurement of shot distance

1:15 PM: 

  • Giant Robot demo

1:30 PM: 

  • Second round of chuckin'

2:00 PM:

  • End of Chili Cookoff

2:15 PM: 

  • Announce Winners of Chili Cookoff

2:30 PM: 

  • Third round of chuckin'

3:30 PM: 

  • Announce winners of Lightweight, Middleweight Junior, Middleweight Open and Heavyweight divisions and Grand prize awarded to most efficient trebuchet across all divisions.

3:45 PM: 

  • Kirkland the band plays

4:00 PM: 

  • Winners of volleyball tournament announced
  • Craft fair ends
  • Food trucks close
  • Kid activities end
  • Festival closes

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Press Release: 14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

August 30, 2023

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

14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival
Held at the Stowe Events Field, Weeks Hill Road in Stowe, VT
Proceeds of October 1st event to benefit Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Stowe, Vermont, Aug. 30, 2023: This year marks 14 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. Inventors, engineers, woodworkers and tinkerers are challenged to use gravity in creative ways to throw a projectile as far as possible. The contraptions have height and weight limits but no limits on design or materials used. 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 current record for the massive heavyweight division was set last year by Jonathan Stapleton at 792 feet! His son, Orion Stapleton threw 473 feet in the middleweight division and won the best design with a height-adjusted throw of 810 feet!

The VTPC Festival is a one-day event that 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, October 1st, 2023. 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.

New to the festival this year is a craft fair with over 20 crafters already signed up. Attendees can purchase amazing Vermont made products including candles, jewelry, maple syrup, pottery, art work, clothing, and so much more. Last year’s 3 food trucks were a big success so we’ve expanded to 6 this year. Bring your appetite and enjoy food from Vermont vendors – The Melted Cheesiere, Taco Truck All Stars, Pizza Bottega, Mediterranean Mix, Green Mountain Kettle Corn, and Street Treats Ice Cream Truck.

Back again from last year are announcers Sean Morrissey and Jake St. Pierre of the award-winning local TV program “Grand Isle Back Yard”. Along with the pumpkin chuckin’ contest there will be live music, a chili cook-off with cash prizes, a giant robot demo and kids’ activities; all creating an enjoyable fall day. Music for this year’s festival will be provided by two bands: Kirkland the band and John Smyth. Green Mountain Volleyball will be running a volleyball tournament featuring the best players in the state. Check their website at for details. There is plenty of time to build a fine trebuchet or prepare your best chili for the chili cook off. Pre-registration is not required for the trebuchet contest or chili cook off.

It costs $10 to enter the festival if you are a spectator, trebuchet or volleyball competitor, but you get in free if you make 2 gallons of chili and compete in the chili cookoff. Chili must be on-site by 11:30am. Entrance is free for children 5 years and younger and parking is free.

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

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival Will Include a Craft Fair

We have an exciting announcement about our upcoming 14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival which will be on October 1st at Mayo Farm Event Fields. This year we will be adding a Craft Fair at the Festival.

Here is our call for crafters that we put out on the Vermont Front Porch Forum:

Seeking Crafters for New Craft Fair

Michelin Cote • Maple St, Morrisville
Announcement   Event

When: Oct 1, 2023, 11 AM to 4 PM

The 14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival will take place on Sunday October 1st from 11:00am – 4:00pm at the Stowe Events Field on Weeks Hill Road in Stowe. The festival celebrates the sport of "chuckin" pumpkins, for distance, using a do-it-yourself constructed trebuchet, which is a gravity powered catapult. The festival raises critical funds to support the Clarina Howard Nichols Center's work of ending domestic and sexual violence in Lamoille County.

New to the festival this year, is a craft fair! We are inviting area crafters to join us for this family-friendly event. Approximately 1,000 locals and tourists generally attend this event. Download the craft vendor application and return it with payment by September 1st. Spaces are 10x10 spaces outside. The cost is $25 per space (non-refundable). Tents, tables, and chairs are not provided and electricity is not available. Set up starts at 9am. If you have questions about the craft fair, please email

Public admission to the festival is $10 (5 years and under are free). Parking is free. In addition to the pumpkin chuckin' and craft fair, a variety of food trucks will be on-site selling delicious items including pizza, tacos, and sandwiches. There will also be live music, a chili cook-off, and kids' activities.

For more information about the festival including specifications, rules, and pumpkin chuckin' entry, go to or contact the festival organizer Dave Jordan, at

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

October 1st, 2023 - New date for 14th Annual VTPC

Short announcement: This year's 14th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival will be held on Sunday, October 1, 2023. This change from September 24th was due to a scheduling conflict at Stowe. 

So now there are just over 7 months, or only 215 days until our 14th Annual VTPC. The festival is again at the Mayo Farm Event Fields, 120 Weeks Hill Rd, Stowe, Vermont. 

  • Date: October 1, 2023
  • Time: 11am - 4pm (1st round starts at 12:30)
  • Free Parking
  • Admission:  $10 for ages 6 and over, free for 5 and under. Proceeds benefit the Clarina Howard Nichols Center in Morrisville, VT.
  • Please feel free to bring umbrellas, chairs or blankets. But please no dogs or outside food or beverages.

Remember the VTPC is the USA Today Reader's Choice Best Fall Festival!!

See you all there!

Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival - Reader's Choice - Best Fall Festival

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Results of Sept. 25th, 2022 — 13th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

We had a mostly clear day at the Mayo Event Fields in Stowe for the thirteenth annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival with 9 teams competing in the chuck, 4 teams in the Chili Cookoff, 3 food trucks, 31 volunteers and over 1000 spectators enjoying the chuckin', chili, food, band, kid activities, volleyball tournament, games and a tortoise roaming the field. We believe we have the longest active running trebuchet contest in the US. Over $14,000 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 combating domestic and sexual violence and they did a fantastic job running the festival for the fourth year in a row!

Two new event records by the Stapleton dynasty and their amazing “Walking Arm” design: Once again the Stapleton family with their unique “walking arm” trebuchet design dominated the competition with 2 new event records in both the middleweight and heavyweight divisions. Because their design is superior and Jonathan Stapleton was nice enough to put up a tutorial on how to build and scale their design on, their design was copied by most of the other competitors, only 1 floating arm design, 1 King Arthur design, and none of the 1000-year-old standard design were represented, whereas in the first festival (2009) ALL of the trebuchets were of the standard 1000-year-old design. Check out the past year's festival summary below to see how the design and best distances have evolved from 2009 to 2022.

Jonathan Stapleton's Walking Arm Trebuchet threw a 5 lb. pumpkin 798 ft. 

Why the Walking Arm design is the best in the world:
The current world record for throwing an 8-pound pumpkin with a trebuchet is 3,377 feet set in 2019 by Colossal Thunder at Punkin Chunkin, Rantoul, Illinois. This is a staggering accomplishment, but they were not limited by height and weight like our festival. By limiting the height and weight in each division we ensure that each competitor has exactly the same amount of potential energy, so their success or failure comes down to efficiency in design and implementation. The theoretical maximum distance a trebuchet can throw is 2 x (weight of trebuchet) x (height of trebuchet) / (weight of pumpkin). In our competition a heavyweight trebuchet is limited to 500 pounds (total weight) and 10 feet (height) so the theoretical limit that a heavyweight trebuchet can throw a 5-pound pumpkin is 2x500x10/5 = 2000 feet. This is theoretical because we are ignoring air resistance, friction and assuming that the arm and frame weigh zero and all 500 pounds is in the counterweight. Jonathan Stapleton’s heavyweight threw 780 feet out of a possible 2000 so its efficiency is 780/2000 or 39%. Colossal Thunder’s height is 24 feet, and the counterweight alone is 5000 pounds so the theoretical limit it can throw an 8-pound pumpkin is 2x5000x24/8 = 30,000 feet. Since it threw 3,377 its efficiency is 3,377/30,000 or 11%. If Colossal Thunder design was scaled down to compete in our festival in the heavyweight category it would throw 228 feet. If Colossal Thunder actually entered our heavyweight competition their 3,377 feet throw would have been “adjusted” for being overweight and over height to make it fair for the other competitors. Since we weigh the total trebuchet, not just the counterweight, Colossal Thunder would be awarded less than 190 feet assuming that their frame and arm weighed at least 1000 pounds. This is not to say that Colossal Thunder isn’t a laudable marvel in its own right — merely that in our engineering-focused competition it can’t measure up. Another indicator of the walking arm’s efficiency is the movement or lack of movement after the pumpkin has left the trebuchet. The arm simply falls to the ground after the throw. This shows that almost all of the potential energy in the counterweight has been efficiently transferred to kinetic energy in the pumpkin. Colossal Thunder’s arm and counterweight are still thrashing around long after the pumpkin has left indicating lots of wasted energy since all the motion of those heavy parts had to come from somewhere. By measuring efficiency, the walking arm design beats Colossal Thunder by 39% to 11%.

First annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Invitational Volleyball Quads tournament:
Ryan Rabidou promoted and ran a volleyball tournament with ten teams during the festival gathering the best players in Vermont and New York. The winners of $100 cash prize were Ryan Rabidou, Nick Pizzuti, Alex Richard, Jeremiah Ward. Second place went to Carter Peck, Shawn McBride, Lauren Brough and Michala Dean. Next year Ryan anticipates a much bigger tournament with as many as 20 teams.

Dolores the Tortoise:
Kelly Carrick brought Dolores, her well-behaved 30-pound tortoise to enjoy the festival. During the 2nd round Dolores happened to be enjoying the festival directly in front of a huge catapult preparing to fire a 5-pound pumpkin. Kelly was alerted to the impending danger and instructed Dolores to crawl out of the way. She started crawling at a glacial pace when Kelly picked her up and moved her out of harm’s way. Shortly thereafter the pumpkin fired in a line drive and rolled directly over the patch of grass that Dolores just vacated. Thirteen years of pumpkin chuckin and no people or tortoises have been harmed!

Past year's festival summary:
Each year people ask how many teams compete, what type of design won and what
distance was the best throw. So here is a summary of interesting facts:

YEAR teams Division Design Winner distance (feet)
2009 6 Heavyweight standard Dave Barrows 139
2010 18 Middleweight standard Wayne Powell 230
2011 14 Middleweight float arm Tobey Betthauser 223
2012 18 Middleweight float arm Dwight Snowberger 437
2013 19 Middleweight float arm Dwight Snowberger 596
2014 12 Middleweight King Arthur Don Jordan 513
2015 26 Heavyweight float arm Chris McGrody 520
2016 18 Heavyweight King Arthur Dave Jordan 689
2017 12 Middleweight float arm Ray Chamberlin 509
2018 17 Lightweight Walk Stick Orion Stapleton 780
2019 14 Lightweight Walk Stick Orion Stapleton 658
2020 0 Not held due to COVID-19
2021 10 Heavyweight Walk Stick Jonathan Stapleton 750
2022 9 Middleweight Walk Stick Orion Stapleton 810

Results of the trebuchet contest (all distances adjusted based on height and weight):
Lightweight Division (age 10 and under, trebuchet limited to 20 lbs. and 41”)
No contestants this year.

Middleweight Junior Division (age 17 and under, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
1st place $100 cash: Orion Stapleton, 810 feet.
2nd place $50 cash: Owen Christman, 429 feet.

Middleweight Open Division: (any age, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
1st place $100 cash: Tyler Barnard, 483 feet.
2nd place $50 cash: Steve McCann, 435 feet.
3rd place no cash: Dave Jordan, 0 feet.

Heavyweight Division: (any age, trebuchet limited to 500 lbs. and 120”)
1st place $100 cash: Jonathan Stapleton, 792 feet.
2nd place $50 cash: Nick Helms, 262 feet.
Grand Prize Best Design $50 cash: Orion Stapleton, 810 feet.

Chili Cookoff:
The chili cookoff was a great success with four competitors and running out of chili
before the end of the festival.
1st place $100 cash: Deb Longe
2nd place $50 cash: Carter Peck
Tied for 3rd place $25 cash each to: Lyn Goldsmith and Charley Pineles-Mark.

Two Sons, Community National Bank, Commodities Natural Market, Union Bank, Piecasso Pizzeria and Lounge, Coldwell Banker/Carlson Real Estate, In Company, Leaves of Change VT, Cork Restaurant and Natural Wine Shop, Nye Mechworks, Points North Physical Therapy, Nichols and Associates/Attorneys at Law, The MSI Group, N.A. Manosh, Donald P. Blake, Jr. Inc., Yellow Turtle, Genevieve Thompson Pilates, Edwards Jones - Caren Merson, Casella and the Stowe UPS Store.

Thanks for Becky Gonyea and her planning, promoting, leadership and army of volunteers which did everything from setup, running the chili cookoff, ticketing, kid activities and cleanup afterwards. Thanks to House Dunn (Mike, Isabella, Jocelyn and Julie) for bringing their band and audio support for the event. Thanks to Sean Morrissey and Jake St. Pierre for being the masters of ceremonies, Amy and Molly for registration and distance recording, to Brian Yeaton and his Stowe HS students for parking, setup and accurately and efficiently measuring the distances. Thanks for Ryan Rabidou for promoting, organizing and running the first annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Invitational Volleyball Quads tournament and to Mike Adams for using his drone and video editing skills to product and awesome video of the event, free of charge. The video will be up on the blog soon, if it isn’t already there. Thanks for Princess Dolores the Tortoise and her partner Kelly Carrick.

Please contact me with any suggestions for next year's festival or corrections to this

We look forward to the next festival, Sept. 24th, 2022, at the Mayo Field in Stowe.

Dave Jordan
Festival organizer
161 Henway Road
Morrisville, VT 05661