On Saturday at Monroe County fairgrounds, a pumpkin was flung downrange by the trebuchet of team Tetanus Express.
It landed 987 feet away. That was a record for Bloomington’s Pumpkin Launch.
Just an hour before the noon event started, a steady drizzle was falling, driven by a 10-mph wind out of the north. That made the 50-degree temperature feel even colder.
But right around midday the rain subsided. A bit of blue sky peeked through.
It was just in time for Bloomington parks and recreation program coordinator Bill Ream to queue up the three entrants in this year’s Pumpkin Launch. They each had four throws in the distance competition, and another four rounds with scoring based on accuracy.
Competing this Saturday besides Tetanus Express were Team Fahrfunflinger and The Fist of God.
The name of the third team comes from the source of their trebuchet’s counterweight. To build their device, Boy Scout Troop 462, hosted by Nativity parish on the southeast side of Indianapolis, used some concrete slabs salvaged from a renovation project at the church. In their previous life, the chunks of concrete served as a foundation for the altar.
The Fahrfunflinger device is not a trebuchet. It’s a big white cylinder that launches its payload by releasing stretched bands of rubber. That makes it basically a slingshot that blasts a pumpkin out the the end of a tube.
More photos after the jump.
Pumpkin Launch 2021