Justin Brooks, left, Burke Stoller, Tod Gilbert and Grant Belbin worked together to create a compressed air cannon that will fire pumpkins downrange in Nanaimo’s inaugural Great Pumpkin Toss event supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island and Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society, Saturday, Nov. 9. (Photo submitted)

Organizers bringing heavy artillery to Nanaimo’s inaugural Great Pumpkin Toss

Trebuchet and air cannon will fire pumpkins to their final resting places in charity fundraiser

Jack-o’-lanterns will either get their final fling or go out with a bang when they get launched from a trebuchet and a compressed air cannon at the inaugural Great Pumpkin Toss this weekend.

The event, the brainchild of Stu Hopewell, chief operating officer of Alair Homes in Nanaimo, will happen in a field behind East Wellington Fire Department near Meadow Creek Community Park, located on Meadow Creek Road, and is a fundraiser supporting Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island.

“If you can build a custom home, you can build a trebuchet,” said Hopewell, who created one of the devices that will launch pumpkins about 50 metres downrange, in a press release.

The pumpkin cannon, which operates on compressed air and resembles a giant potato gun, was created by Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society board members and supporters, including Tod Gilbert, president of VMAC, manufacturer of vehicle mounted air compressor systems.

Participants can bring their pumpkins and, for a donation, choose whether they’d like their pumpkin fired or flung from the cannon or trebuchet, see how far downrange they fly and witness the spectacular results upon touchdown.

East Wellington Volunteer Fire Department is lending its support by supplying water and power for the event’s concession stand, run by NS3.

People are also encouraged to bring warm clothes to support a coat drive at the pumpkin toss, too.

“We hope to make a bit of money for these great organization and we really just want a good turnout,” said Jason Clayton, event marketer.

The organizers hope the inaugural Great Pumpkin Toss will grow into an annual tradition, possibly something similar to the Silly Boat Regatta, with multiple businesses and organizations entering teams with pumpkin launch devices they’ve created.

“We participate in a variety of events that raise money for local groups, but we wanted to do more so we decided to introduce our own event and create … the Alair Community Team,” Hopewell said in the release. “This is a dedicated group of Alair employees who are working to support and raise money for local groups. This is a result of their efforts.”

The Great Pumpkin Toss happens Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more details and to watch live fire tests of the trebuchet and pumpkin cannon, visit Alair Homes’ Facebook page.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plan in place for B.C. Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

RDN will look at collecting old bins once automated waste collection starts in the fall

Residents outside Nanaimo city limits to see new waste pickup model in October

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

Nanaimo pianist and future doctor honoured for ‘excellence in culture’

Devon Joiner is among this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Beefs & Bouquets, June 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Most Read