Submitted photo
The LIons Club ‘s annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ takes place Saturday on Altlman Street.

The Ely Times 

Pumpkins flying through the air, children shrieking and adults laughing, that’s what you may hear if you’re driving down Aultman Street this Saturday.

The Lions Club annual Punkin Chunkin returns this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 at 10 a.m. It’s an event that began six years ago, and is growing with increased interest each year.

Punkin Chunkin’ began in 2013, where the first event was modest consisting of a pumpkin patch, recipe contest, bounce house and snacks.

Through the years it has continued to grow, with carnival games, music, pet costume contests, multiple food vendors, costumed mascots and catapults.

In 2017, the Lions partnered with Ms. Viv’s school of dance to offer dance performances and JW Electric to drop pumpkins from their bucket truck.

Both Ms. Viv and JW have agreed to return in 2018.  Vendors this year include the Senior Center, the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Melody Van Camp’s funnel cakes, Boy Scout Popcorn and Madalynn’s Moose food truck.

The Lions have also partnered with 4-H to bring a petting zoo as a new attraction this year. The Pet Costume Contest also returns this year with several prizes awarded to the top winners.

The primary focus of the event continues to be the Punkin Chunkin’, where the public can test their strength and see who can throw a pumpkin the farthest. Trophies are awarded to the winners in various age groups.

VanCamp said, “What a fun family event, not only for the adults but the pets too, it puts everyone in Halloween and fall mode.”

A pumpkin patch will be on site so that people can purchase their own projectiles and there will be a station to paint and decorate them before lift off.

Different age groups are set up for the contests. The mission is for teams to sling a pumpkin at a stationary target with the most accuracy. Build your own trebuchet and test out your skills.

Proceeds from this event helps the Ely Lions continue in their efforts to help with local causes.  Ely Lions Club member Annette Marshall said the need for volunteers is great.

“We’ve reached a point, where in order to keep growing, we need volunteers and new Lions members,” she said. “If you enjoy this event, consider becoming part of the Lions.”

The Lions Club was founded in 1925 making it the 2nd oldest Lions club in the State.  Currently the Lions Club is the world’s largest service organization with 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members.  Like the international organization, the local Lions Club is committed to vision health and improving the community, with support to local causes, including schools, the arts, culture, seniors and health.

The Lions’ biggest community event each year is the annual Punkin Chunkin’.

Ely Lions Club member Stephen Bishop said, “Each year we improve, grow and try to add more fun to Punkin Chunkin’. This year is no different and we hope to make this event the premiere autumn festival in Eastern Nevada.”