Great American Watermelon Blast launches for first time Aug. 27

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It’s like Punkin Chunkin, but with watermelons for  a bigger splat

VIENNA — The first-ever Great American Watermelon Blast happens Aug. 27 in Vienna — the only event of its kind in the Chesapeake Bay region.

The siege machines of the popular Punkin Chunkin event in Delaware will make watermelons fly in the Dorchester County sky at Breckenridge Adventures. The “machines” might take the form of trebuchets, catapults, torsions, and air cannons — all with the goal of launching watermelons in the air. The melons will not be going for distance; they will be shooting at targets. So there will be lots of explosions and smashing. It’s similar to the Punkin Chunkin event that happens in the fall with pumpkins. Only this time it’s in the summer with watermelons.

“We wanted to extend the fun of Punkin Chunkin to the summer,” said Frank Payton, president of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. “We’re thrilled to be bringing this event to Dorchester County, and we can’t wait to see the dramatic splats that these watermelons make.”

Throughout the day, teams will be launching watermelons in three rounds at increasing distances — 200 feet, 300 feet, and 500 feet. Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to try their hand at blasting a melon out of one of the machines, with proceeds going to Relay for Life. At noon, there will be a watermelon seed spitting contest, as well as other games and events — plus juicy watermelons for eating.

This family-friendly event will also offer food and craft vendors on site with a band after all the launching is done, around 4 pm. Gates open at 9 am and the event continues throughout the day and evening. Alcohol will be available for purchase at event starting at noon, but no alcohol will be allowed to be carried into the event.

Organizers say they’ll have about 1,000 watermelons ready to launch during the event. Event sponsor Melon 1 is working with a local farm to provide the melons. “The melons are ones that could not be eaten, so they’re not being wasted,” Mr. Payton said. “And the melons are smaller than what you typically find in a store or market.”

The event is sponsored by Melon 1. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the event (if tickets are not sold out by then); children 12 and under are free. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available in advance at or by e-mail at

Breckenridge Adventures is located at 4032 Mill Road in Vienna.

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