Large pumpkins arced high before smashing to the ground; smaller ones flew with a flatter trajectory into the woods beyond a field of targets; the flight of apples was fast and true. The flying remains of autumn’s harvest were the main feature of The Adirondack Pub & Brewery’s Second Annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ held yesterday in Lake George.
Last year, the Brewery set up medieval launching devices in the open field adjacent to their Canada Street facility and called on the public to show up with their Halloween jack-o-lanterns. The response was overwhelming. Despite the autumn chill, hundreds filled the lot toting rotting squashes. Adirondack Pub & Brewery owner John Carr declared Pumpkin Chunkin’ would be an annual event and expanded its scope for 2017.
The arsenal of launching devices included three trebuchets, with arms reaching up 15 feet into the air, and a row of slingshots for hurling apples. Targets were spread across the field, some nailed to trees, and a few offered prizes — t-shirts, beer glasses — for those who, with talent or luck, who were able to hit the mark. At one point, a man rolled through the target field in a giant hamster ball, making for a curious sight. While pumpkin chunkers were encouraged to bring their own gourds, the Brewery had a large supply of over-ripe jack-o-lanterns on hand. Admission to the Adirondack Pub & Brewery Pumpkin Chunkin’ is free.
The Brewery added a carnival midway to this year’s Pumpkin Chunkin’. There attendees could enjoy, among other things, cider doughnuts, fish tacos and Adirondack Brewery’s craft beers. The midway included bounce houses, carnival games, a giant slide that appeared to rival French Mountain behind it in size, pony rides and a petting zoo. Also spread throughout the grounds were enlarged versions of favorite games such as Jenga and Connect Four, along with corn hole boards.
Douglas Stafford of Philadelphia-based Bad Idea Entertainment entertained with a variety show that included comedy, magic and juggling with marshmallows, bowling balls and flaming clubs, suggesting the origin of his company’s name. Stafford also proved himself to be a master bubble maker. He created giant, iridescent soap bubbles by dragging a length of rope through a bucket of soapy water and releasing bubbles that floated over the grounds. Children in attendance chased the bubbles and jumped to reach them, hoping to capture one before it burst and sprayed soapy water over their heads. Stafford suggested that parents thank him for cleaning their children with his act.
The Adirondack Pub & Brewery is located at 1 Canada Street where it operates a brewery and restaurant. The Brewery holds public events throughout the year including a popular Oktoberfest and, in January, a Funky Ice Fest that takes the ice bar craze to a new level with interactive ice sculptures.