BREAKING NEWS: Punkin' Chunkin Leaving Delaware
BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- The World Punkin Chunkin Championship is leaving Delaware for Illinois, the event's organizers announced Tuesday.
According to the official Punkin Chunkin website and Facebook page, the team captains voted on a change of venue to the Village of Rantoul, Ill. With 75 percent involvement, the vote was 70 percent YES and 30 percent NO.
"This is our event's 4th change of venue since 1986," organizers said. "For over 33 years, we have called Sussex County, Del. our home but the chunk must go on. With many other Punkin Chunkin-related events going on, there needs to be a World Championship.
"We want to thank everyone for their support over the years. Most recently, we want to thank those that came forward in Delaware and Maryland in trying to keep the event on Delmarva," organizers continued. "Unfortunately, our unique event requires large tracts of land. The Wheatley's 600-acre property in Bridgeville, Del. has served us well to date. We are very supportive of the land owner's decision to not continue to host the event."
Last month, Town of Ocean City officials were considering the idea of bringing Punkin Chunkin to the Maryland resort town. The initial plan called for pumpkins to be launched from the inlet parking lot out into the ocean.
The new event in Illinois will take place on the once known Chanute Air Force Base that was acquired by Rantoul when it was closed down in 1993, Punkin Chunkin organizers said.
The event's organizers said it has been their non-profit's mission to conduct their annual event and give funds back to the community in the form of donations and scholarships for children. Organizers said that since their inception, they have contributed more than $1 million in donations and scholarships.
Organizers said they are planning the 2019 event to be Nov. 1-3.