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Flamin’ Pumpkin fundraiser held Sunday in Summerland

Flying flaming pumpkins

More than 300 pumpkins were set ablaze and catapulted into the night at the fourth annual Flamin’ Pumpkin Chunkin fundraiser at Summerland’s Saxon Estate Winery on Sunday night.

“Everybody wonders what they should do with their pumpkins after Halloween? We thought what better way than to light them on fire and launch them into the air using a trebuchet, with the goal of hitting a castle,” said Saxon Winery owner Paul Graydon. “It’s quite the spectacle. It’s not your usual winery event, that’s for sure.” 

“The kids love it. They get to participate, helping launch their own pumpkins with help from the Adrian Empire, who are dressed in medieval wear. There’s just nothing quite like this event,” he added.

The Summerland chapter of the Adrian Empire is dedicated to the re-creation of all the best things from medieval times, ranging from archery and knighthood to outfits and combat. The group built the trebuchet used to toss the pumpkins at the event.

Graydon built the wood framed castle in hopes that it would be mostly demolished by the end of the night. By 7 p.m., there was a growing pile of smashed pumpkins in front of the structure and large crowds enjoying the show.

“The next day, it’s our job to clean up the hundreds of pieces of smashed pumpkins for the compost,” Graydon said, adding a pumpkin patch sprouted in the field after last year’s event.

The medieval theme is a good match for Saxon Estate Winery, which took its name from Graydon’s hometown in Kent, England. 

“It is the home of the Anglo Saxons for 600-plus years and that history made it into the name of our winery, which makes this event very fitting,” he said.

Hot chocolate was by donation and a fish and chips truck was on site. Five wines were up for tasting including Saxon’s unique white port Drunken Knight. Saxon’s Meritage is named after the trebuchet used to launch the flaming pumpkins.

And it all goes to a good cause.

Entry was by donation, plus a non-perishable food item for the Summerland Food Bank. Proceeds supported Critteraid Animal Sanctuary and food bank.



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