Fall is in the air in Moab. Kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to turn and the temperature is dropping at night. For many Moab residents, that means it’s time to start gearing up for the Youth Garden Project’s annual Pumpkin’ Chuckin’ Festival.
The festival will undergo a significant change this year, according to YGP Executive Director Delite Primus. Rather than being held at the old airport several miles south of town, the festivities will be moved to the Grand County High School soccer field.
“The decision to move it was based on several things,” Primus said, adding that the main two reasons for relocating the festival are to make it more accessible to people, and to decrease the overhead costs for the organization.
“We’ve heard from a lot of people that they haven’t been able to make it the ten miles out of town to attend the festival,” Primus said. “We’re hoping that, by moving it into town, it will make it easier for families and others to attend either all day or for short amounts of time throughout the day.”
Primus said bringing the festival into town will also offer the organization access to utilities that they had to provide otherwise.
“There’s no water or electricity out at the runway so we had to come up with alternative to provide those,” she said.
The soccer field’s proximity to the YGP is also a plus, Primus said.
“I think it will give us a lot of exposure being right across the street. Hopefully it will help people to realize what the Youth Garden Project is.”
In the past, visitors from out of town have had a hard time connecting the organization to the festival, she said.
The location will prevent the festival from hosting the more powerful air cannons that shoot pumpkins, as in the past, but Primus said she knows of several teams that are already planning on bringing trebuchets, slingshots and catapults.
“Hopefully lots of community members will come out and build machines or even just attend the event,” she said.
The Youth Garden is in the process of trying to figure out overflow parking for the event, in case they need more than the high school has to offer.
“We will be offering $1 off admission to anyone who rides their bike,” she said.
Primus said the rest of the festival should be the same as people have experienced in the past.
“We will still have a stage with entertainment throughout the day, and food and craft vendors,” she said.
The pumpkin chucking competition will take place on one half of the soccer field, while the festival is on the other half.
“Everything people love about chuckin’ will still be there, hopefully just in a more convenient location,” she said.