Pumpkin crop suffering in Delaware

DOVER — According to several top pumpkin growers in the state, yields suffered from heavy, continuous rain this growing season. For some, this meant a total “wipeout” of their crop. Rick Dickerson, of Dickerson Farms in Laurel, said nothing was left of the 40 acres of pumpkins he planted this year. By operation size, he […]

In lawsuit, woman details injuries allegedly suffered in Punkin Chunkin mishap

  WILMINGTON — A 46-page federal lawsuit detailed a New York woman’s claims of negligence causing severe injuries after an air cannon malfunctioned at last year’s Punkin Chunkin event held in northern Sussex County. On Wednesday, Suzanne Dakessian brought the action against a wide-ranging group of defendants who contributed to the World Championship Punkin Chunkin […]

Punkin Chunkin in trouble

BRIDGEVILLE — One of Delaware’s most memorable traditions could be coming to an end. Punkin Chunkin, which has seen several attendees suffer high-profile injuries in recent years, may not be continuing after this November, the group behind the event announced Thursday. The Science Channel, which provided a quarter of the funding, dropped the event after […]

Woman in critical condition after Punkin Chunkin accident

BRIDGEVILLE – A 39-year-old woman is in critical condition following the explosion of an air cannon at Punkin Chunkin Sunday in Bridgeville. Delaware State Police said parts of the cannon hit the woman in the head and face. She was treated at the scene by Sussex County paramedics before being transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital […]

Punkin Chunkin ready to relaunch

BRIDGEVILLE – Once again it is time for the annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin, Nov. 4-6 back at the Wheatley Farm in Bridgeville after a two-year hiatus. This year, over 100 teams from around the world are traveling to Sussex county with their trebuchets, centrifugals, torsions, catapults and of course air cannons to compete for […]

Punkin Chunkin may return after all

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DOVER — Thanks to a determined “Save the Chunk” effort, officials say the World Punkin Chunkin Association is close to staging a comeback from its two-year hiatus. The problem of securing affordable insurance for the event appears resolved, according to newly elected association president Frank Payton. The only challenge now is finding a location to […]

‘Wiggle It’ thrilling local horse racing fans

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DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines … *** Wiggle It Jiggleit — try saying that without smiling a little — created quite a bit of excitement in Dover Thursday night. Harness racing enthusiasts were out in big numbers to see the country’s top pacer in the $201,900 Matron Stakes at Dover […]

2015 Punkin Chunkin canceled

DOVER — Citing lack of insurance, the organizers of Punkin Chunkin have canceled the 2015 event that was to be held at the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the 2015 World Championship Punkin Chunkin event,” organizers said in a statement posted Thursday morning. “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our Board throughout an exhaustive, nation-wide search, we have been unable to locate a willing insurer to adequately protect our host venue, our organization, our fans and our spectators.

“We cannot be more thankful for the efforts of our volunteers, the best efforts of our agents and the patience of our teams, our fans, our prospective hosts at Dover International Speedway, our vendors, and our sponsors through this difficult time.

“From our humble beginnings in Sussex County in 1986, we are proud to have grown our organization into a national phenomenon. Through our fans’ and sponsors’ support, we’ve donated over a million dollars to a variety of local, regional and national charities as well as funded dozens of scholarships. We’re committed to the continuation of our sport and of our charitable work, and we are actively seeking alternatives as we move forward.”

Organizers said ticket purchases would be completely refunded.

Punkin Chunkin gets green flag to go at Dover International Speedway

DOVER – Dover International Speedway and the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association announced Friday the 2015 event will be held Nov. 7-8 on the speedway grounds.

Tickets are on sale for $10 per person per day, with an early bird special available of $16 per person for a two-day pass. Tent and RV camping options are also available.

The 2014 event was postponed, and this will mark the 28th year of the event.

Punkin Chunkin could leave state, senator warns – Failure to cap lawsuit awards might force event to be relocated

DOVER — Punkin Chunkin could be in danger of leaving the state, according to one lawmaker.

For more than 25 years, the event was held in Sussex County, most recently at Wheatley Farms in Bridgeville.

But a 2013 lawsuit from a volunteer injured during the festival caused the landowner to pull his property as a site for the event.

Punkin Chunkin was shifted to Dover to take place at Dover International Speedway, but technical difficulties and an inability to set up in time caused it to be canceled in 2014.

With no location scheduled beyond that, Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, said he’s worried what has been a fall tradition will go elsewhere.

“I have heard directly from the organizers that there is a distinct possibility that it might have to go out of state,” he said.

As a result, he introduced a bill that would cap noneconomic damages at $1 million for select special events. The Republican-backed Senate Bill 14 would apply only to special events held by nonprofits once a year.

It’s a a continuation of a proposal Sen. Pettyjohn first sketched out in the prior legislative session.

The bill faced opposition from the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association (DTLA), who feared it would lead to larger tort reform.

On Wednesday, the Senate Executive Committee declined to release the proposal, with the four Democrats voting against release and the two Republicans voting . Five of the six members of the committee represent New Castle County.