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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Pumpkin Chunkin New Mexico Style in Estancia!

For info on the 2012 Punkin Chunkin you should try this newer post.

In October last year I was made aware that there was a Pumpkin Chunkin’ Contest right here in New Mexico, but unfortunately I was 2 weeks too late to post about it. Unfamiliar with Pumpkin Chunkin? It has become more famous every year on cable TV. They cover the official World Championship Punkin Chunkin’ in Nassau, Delaware every year and it is broadcast throughout the year until the new event takes place. This year’s event will be broadcast first on Discovery’s Science Channel on Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Chunkin’ or, as it is officially named, Punkin Chunkin’, is the hurling of various kinds of pumpkins, (everyone has their favorite kind), by man-made machines, for distance. The Chunkers use various kinds of machines – air cannons, catapults, trebuchets, giant slingshots..and anything else the human mind can come up with. The record hurl is 4483.51 feet and was accomplished by a machine called “Young Glory III. Everyone is hoping, (with every hurl they make), to break the 1 mile record. The 2010 Punkin Chunkin’ contest in Estancia, NM will come up with a winner to go to the World Championship in Delaware on November 5, 6 & 7, 2010. This is exciting stuff, folks!

Pumpkins have been hurled through the air in Estancia, NM since 1995, when a group of local farmers started the contest, making this  year’s event the 15th Annual. But Estancia is not happy with just the Punkin Chunkin’ – they have a day long Pumpkinfest, starting with a parade down Main Street and ending up with the Chunkin’ about a mile or so away. In true festival form, there will be all the usual suspects of events, booths, food booths (and a chili cook-off), carnival rides, a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts booths and I am sure…a few pumpkin pies. There will also be a vintage Airstream Trailer Exhibit this year. I love small town America. They really know how to have a festival.

Estancia is a small village in Torrance County, NM with a population of about 1,600, and is primarily a farming and ranching area. It is frequented by regional visitors drawn to it by its clean, spring fed lake. I could go on about Estancia, but they deserve their own blog post in the near future. It is high time I covered another small town in New Mexico.

There is no lodging in Estancia. The closest town you can find a stay in is Moriarity, NM, 18 miles north of Estancia on Interstate 40. You may also find a room with us at our Albuquerque Inn, Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast. The ride to Estancia from our B&B is an easy one, and the fall colors should be in full swing as you skirt  the foothills of the Manzano Mountains. It only takes about an hour and is about 57 miles mostly through the beautiful rural New Mexico countryside.

I had marked my 2010 calendar last year in order to NOT forget about this post, but when I went searching for information I was unhappy to see all the info I found online was a year old. But what I did find is the NMChunkers website about the 2009 Punkin Chunkin’ in Estancia, and the fantastic photos in this post. Use the link to go to their website and see more great pictures and their machine creations. (They sell these machines too!) Eventually I also found a number provided on Estancia’s website and spoke with a wonderful woman named Felicia who emailed me all the new info. Here it is:


The Estancia Rotary Club’s
15th Annual Pumpkinfest and  Punkin Chunkin’
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Parking and Admission: $10 (up to six in a car) or $5.00 per person, (includes entry in raffle)

8:00 AM: Gates open
(Cape Calabaza, 1.5 miles west on NM-55)
10:00 AM: Parade registration and lineup
(Torrance County Courthouse)
10:30 AM: Pumpkinfest Parade
NOON: Practice Launching Begins
1:00 PM: Official Launching Begins
Register Decorated Pumpkins
Raffle Drawing*
2:00 PM: Raffle Drawing*
2:45 PM: Parade Results Announced
3:00 PM: Pie Eating Contest Begins
Raffle Drawing*
3:00 PM: Exhibition Launching
4:00 PM: Raffle Drawing*
Prince & Princess Crowning
Final Launching Results
*must be present to win raffle prizes

Click here for a link to a map with direction I created to get to Estancia for the Pumpkinfest:

Proceeds go to The Estancia Rotary Club Scholarship Program – a noble charity. Plan ahead ! Mark your calendar! Come on out to Estancia and celebrate the 15th Annual Pumpkinfest and see the Punkin Chunkin’ for yourself. It will be a…BLAST!

I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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8 Responses to “Pumpkin Chunkin New Mexico Style in Estancia!”

  1. cheryl says:

    what time? date? and location?
    we are interested but can’t find info

  2. Brian Lapham says:

    I’m interested in participating in this contest. Is there somewhere I can go for more information, rules, entry proceedures, etc.?

  3. hi,
    very intersted in your chunk. trying to increase the number of teams at our Chunk in Aurora CO. can you put a link from your event to ours?
    i would love to talk to you. my number is 303-739-7756. maybe we will see you in Colorado.
    marie addleman
    special event coordinator, city of Aurora

  4. Lee says:

    You may want to check the spelling of Moriarty.

  5. Hello,
    We are interested in having a booth at this years Pumpkin Chunkin event. Can you tell us how to register and what the fees are?


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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net