Submitted photo
Pumpkin Chunkin is the biggest community event that the LIons Club puts on every year. It takes place Saturday at Veterans Park.

Scrappy, the Lizzard, ready for Halloween.

LouLou, the Lounicorn, dressed in her Halloween costume.

Pumpkins are symbolic of autumn. Folks drink pumpkin spice lattes, eat pumpkin pies or carve jack-o’-lanterns. In Ely, there is a tradition to use them as projectiles, and “chuck” them as far as they can.    

This year marks the 7th annual Punkin Chunkin event. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Park at 801 Clark St., off Aultman Street. This is the Ely Lions biggest community event of the year. 

A pumpkin patch will be set up with a variety of pumpkins on hand for purchase, whether you decide to paint it, or chuck it, is up to you. Food, music, games, entertainment, dancing, prizes and the annual pumpkin throwing competitions is sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

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.

The Lions have also partnered with the City of Ely for the Pet Costume Contest with several prizes awarded to the top winners. Categories include Macho Mutt, Princess Pooch and Bad to the Bone. Entrants will be judged on costume design, creativity, humor and originality along with behavior and charisma. Pet owners who dress up in costume earn extra points. A grand prize for all contestants will be drawn after the contest. 

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.

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. For additional information call 775-293-0569.