Dont toss those Halloween pumpkins yet -- you may prefer to drop them from a 40-foot crane or maybe shoot them from a cannon.
The annual Pumpkin Destruction Day returns to the Rock Ranch on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Every year, we add new pumpkin destruction methods, said Adam Pugh, the ranchs event director. Pumpkin darts is new this year. Thats something weve not done before.
Other returning destruction options include archery, monster truck crushing, bowling and a hammer smash. There also will be airplanes dropping pumpkins to the ground and a giant water-filled pumpkin that will be dropped several times during the event.
The Pumpkin Destruction Day is the one you hear people talking about, Pugh said. Well have thousands of pumpkins, but we encourage people to certainly bring their own. ... Typically our pumpkin patch figures that folks who want a pumpkin are going to get it before Halloween. Were going to have pumpkins for destruction.
The event started by accident in 2007 when the Ranch found itself with a field of leftover pumpkins.
So we had this great idea to have this big pumpkin patch the very first year we were ever open to the public, said Jeff Manley, who is the ranchs general manager. I ordered a tractor-trailer and a half of the pumpkins out of Ohio. Nobody bought any of them. ... After Halloween, we ended up with this pasture full of pumpkins and I didnt know what to do with them. Cows would eat them but I just didnt know what else to do with them.
He said at the time they had a steam roller and decided to let visitors destroy the pumpkins using the roller and other methods.
We just had so much fun that it really took hold, Manley said. We were the very first agritourism destination in the country to start this. Now, its everywhere.
The Ranch now purchases pumpkins primarily for the destruction day activities.
We go around and purchase everyones leftover pumpkins, Pugh said.
Ranch visitors also can enjoy bluegrass bands, a magician, train rides, pony rides, a corn maze, a hay bale maze, a rope maze, a petting zoo, inflatables and Tiny Town, a 14-building childrens playhouse village, as part of the admission. For an additional fee, visitors can try out a 50-foot rock climbing wall, a 1,400-foot-long zipline or an 800-foot-long zipline.
The farm also has 240 cows.
A lot of people forget were really a working cattle ranch, Manley said.
Pumpkin Destruction Day
When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 2
Where: The Rock Ranch, 5020 Barnesville Highway, the Rock
Cost: $15 for ages 4 and older; $2 off coupons are available at area Chick-fil-A locations
Information: www.therockranch.com; 706-647-6374