Editor’s note: This is a personal experience from 2015. We have updated the information to reflect the current dates and times however your experience may vary.
First, you grow a pumpkin in your garden or shop at the store or pick one out at a farm; it takes a while to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Then you plan out your carving pattern, convince the children to wait until about a week before Halloween so it lasts and doesn’t rot too quickly. Then the fun part: scoop out the guts, save the seeds and bake them.
But the Halloween hangover kicks in. Trick-or-Treating is done, the costumes have been worn and photographed, and you look at all the Halloween decorations thinking, what am I going to do with that pumpkin?
The physics department at Mundelein High School has the answer for you. And his name is Big Red.
Big Red is a trebuchet/catapult designed and built by Mundelein High School physics students for the launching of pumpkins at the Keith Mione Community Park in Mundelein. The Park District sponsored events happens yearly, usually the first weekend in November. The 2019 event will take place on November 2 and 12:30 p.m.
The event is free to attend and watch and each participant may bring one pumpkin. However, not all the pumpkins you bring will be dropped. Children must pre-register by October 26, 2019, to be entered in the drawing to be one of the 20 pumpkins that are thrown.
You might even get the chance to drop it and smash it on the way to the event if you have a stubborn son like mine who won’t let you help carry the heavy pumpkin.
In addition to launching them, in previous years participants could roll them down the hill or smash them with a bat.
At the end of the event, all pumpkin parts are picked up and composted. There will be pumpkin recycling bins available on November 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. so you can recycle your pumpkin without partaking in the festivities. Please note that all decorations, candles and other materials must be removed from the pumpkins.
Annual Pumpkin Drop
Sunday, November 2, 2019, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Keith Mione Community Park, 1461 North Midlothian Road, Mundelein