CAMDENTON, Mo. – Sept. 25 marks the return of Camdenton’s fall family festival as Pumpkin Chunkin Palooza will be returning for its 5th year. The Ozarks Amphitheater will host this year’s event from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Last year’s Pumpkin Chunkin Palooza was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Palooza chairman Larry Biron told The Heartlander that the only thing that could stop this year’s event would be bad weather.
This year, the Laurie-Sunrise Beach Rotary Club has plenty of exciting things in store for visitors. Pumpkin pie eating contests, local artisans, face painting, a petting zoo, bounce houses, and pirate and magic shows are included in this year’s agenda, among other festivities. The activities during the day will be followed by a talent show in the evening titled ‘Got Talent’.
Two of the biggest attractions of the day include the ‘Got Talent’ competition and an event where local schools have compiled teams to face off against each other in one of the most unique contests featured at a local fall festival.
“What we wanted to do was develop a competition between schools, so they would build a device called a trebuchet which was used in the middle ages to throw rocks over castle walls,” Biron said.
“Now the trebuchets are being used at our event to throw pumpkins. That is why it’s called Pumpkin Chunkin Palooza. The competition is based on a few things that the teams have got to do. Not only do they chuck or throw a pumpkin, but accuracy and distance are considered before we choose a winner. It’s like a football team, but it’s a trebuchet school team representing that group.”
Biron says that homeschool teams have participated in the past and this year’s spectators will also see a Cub Scout group competing for the rights to call themselves the Pumpkin Chunkin champions.
Admission into this year’s festival will be as follows:
Adults (13 and older) – $8
Children 5 to 12 – $5
Children Under 5 – Free
Family Pass (6 family members max) – $20
Parking – FREE
“One of the things that we pride ourselves on is the fact that once somebody pays admission to our event, you don’t spend a lot of extra money to get the benefits of what’s inside,” Biron said. “For example, if you go into the petting zoo, they don’t pay anything. If they go into the bounce houses, they are free. There’s a multitude of events that are free going on.”
The ‘Got Talent’ show will feature 10 of the area’s top chosen acts with three alternates. Performers who wish to enter can send an email submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After each performance, talent show judges will only be given the option to give the audience their opinion, but the actual voting will be done by the audience. Spectators will use their tickets to vote for the talent they enjoyed the most once all acts have performed.The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000.
Gates will open back up at 6 p.m. and the talent show will begin at 7 p.m. Admissions for spectators will be $20 and proceeds will go to four of the Rotary’s selected local charities.
The deadline to sign up to compete in the ‘Got Talent’ show is August 25th. Families or individuals interested in the event can visit the festival’s website here for more information.