Pumpkins Will Fly at the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival!

By | Sep 23rd, 2016 | Category: Culture
Pumpkins Will Fly at the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival!

If you find yourself in Downtown Rapid City tomorrow morning be sure to keep an eye to the sky. The Eighth Annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival starts tomorrow at 9am, and at 10am the CAMP teams from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will be launching pumpkins over 200 feet to see who’s can go the furthest.

The rules of the contest are simple. You have to build a catapult, no cannons or aerial equipment allowed. And you can’t fire it more than 300 ft, because then you’d be hitting cars on 5th Street and that’s no fun for anyone. Other than that the rules are wide open and this year 6 teams will be competing for the title.

CAMP is the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production and is a nationally recognized competitive program that brings students together to solve problems and challenge one another. CAMP along with RESPEC of Rapid City sponsor the contest.

The trebuchet built by the SDSMT Formula CAMP team.

The trebuchet built by the SDSMT Formula CAMP team.

One of the teams you’ll see on Saturday is the Formula Racing team, and while they normally work on cars, their trebuchet building skills aren’t to shabby. Their goal is to launch their 6-8 lb pumpkin 250 ft and they get three tries to dial in their best shot.

Mini Baja trebuchet after a few test shots.

Mini Baja trebuchet after a few test shots.

You can see the pumpkins splattered on the hill about 150 ft away.

You can see the pumpkins splattered on the hill about 150 ft away.

Two of the other teams participating are the Mini Baja and Steel Bridge teams, and despite very similar designs I reckon it will be a very close competition. While I wasn’t able to meet up with any of their members, I was able to grab a few photos of their catapults. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for tomorrow morning at the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival!

The largest of the group, the steel bridge trebuchet is an imposing presence.

The largest of the group, the steel bridge trebuchet is an imposing presence.

About the Author

is an Aberdeen native and views the Black Hills as a much needed reprieve from the never ending plains of Eastern South Dakota. He graduated from Northern State University with a degree in Fine Arts and Multimedia Design, both of which he enjoys using as the Marketing Project Specialist at Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. He and his wife own a martial arts gym in Rapid City and most of his time outside of work goes into training and growing that program. When not working he loves cooking and trying new beers from all around the world. He has dreams of traveling to every country in the world at least once and living abroad for an entire year at some point in his life.

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