This Thursday was Halloween, which marked the end of October and spooky season itself. One way to get rid of biodegradable Halloween decorations is to donate -- and quite literally -- toss them.
Athens Halloween and Ratha Con have partnered to give a solution to getting rid of jack-o-lanterns: Pumpkin Chuckin’.
If You Go:
What: Pumpkin Chuckin’
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Athens County Fairgrounds, 286 W. Union St.
Admission: Free, suggested donation $3
Pumpkin Chuckin’ was the brainchild of Brandon Thompson, Halloween coordinator for the city of Athens.
“I had this idea about launching pumpkins,” Thomspon said. “People normally just let them rot or throw them out. So we thought, let’s put them on there and raise money.”
For Thomspon, Pumpkin Chuckin’ is a fun and new family-friendly event for Halloween. It extends the fun of the holiday a little more.
Thompson recommends those planning on attending the event to bring chairs, not only because there might be a wait to launch one’s pumpkin, but to also just hang out. Thompson is looking forward to seeing the people of Athens come together for a good time.
“People can come out and enjoy it, college students and community members,” Thompson added.
With the help of Tom Fiocchi, props technologist in the Ohio University School of Theater, participants can catapult their pumpkins into the great beyond.
“I made this catapult with students 18 years ago,” Fiocchi said. “We made it so we could shoot water balloons. It’s been in storage for a while, [but] taken out the last few years for School of Fine Arts.”
The catapult is a model of a medieval trebuchet, Fiocchi added. It’s a simple machine, but hard to load. Unlike real medieval catapults, it takes less time to load, and Fiocchi estimates it will be able to fire every three minutes.
“We’ll see what happens,” Fiocchi said. “It’s always a lot of fun. It’s a neat thing to do.”
The event is a fundraiser for Ratha Con, Athens’ own pop culture convention.
“Ratha Con is a pop culture convention for the local community,” Alyse Carter-Schultz, vice president and outreach coordinator of Rath Con, said. “It’s showcasing artists of all types -- comic book, costume and video games.”
The next Ratha Con takes place in April of 2020. In order to fund the non-profit event, Ratha Con hosts many small fundraising events during the off season, but this is the first time doing pumpkin chuckin’.
“The Halloween Committee and Ratha Con had the idea to do something after Halloween that was unlike other things going on,” Carter-Schultz said.
Though it is technically free to chuck a pumpkin, donations are encouraged. Funds raised go to Ratha Con.
“It’s welcome to all ages,” Carter-Schultz added. “The more people who come, the longer we’ll go.”
Participants are encouraged to bring their own pumpkins, but can also purchase some at the event to launch. Ratha Con will provide snacks and hot beverages as well.
No pumpkin guts will be wasted -- all waste will be composted, Carter-Schultz said. The event can be found on Facebook.