The 5th Annual SlingFest was held this past Sunday at Oak Point Park in Plano. By all accounts, including the Safety Czar’s, it was a success. Organized by DFW Trebuchet Society and sponsored by Nations Roof, Experian and Tap the Lab, all proceeds from tickets sold to the pumpkin-slinging event will benefit TheLab.ms, a makerspace in Plano.
Sunday’s SlingFest broke several of the event’s own records for attendance, distance and number of competitors.
This year’s SlingFest was the most attended one so far, with somewhere around 250 tickets sold (final count isn’t available yet). This year also saw the most trebuchets entered into the competition: seven from the DFW area, two from Conroe, Texas, and one from Lavaca, Arkansas. Two of the trebuchets entered were smaller versions built for kids.
SlingFest also broke its own record for the longest distance reached by a fast-flying pumpkin: over 500 feet.
Aside from catapulting pumpkins, competitors got to choose another non-squash item in the “Flunky Fling” round. This year’s fine choices were a Superman-caped mannequin, an actual (very dead) squid wrapped around a pumpkin, a Nyan Cat beanbag, a “Flying Pig” soda bottle and a ceramic Elvis pig. Lack of imagination doesn’t seem to be a problem among trebuchet-builders.
This group took safety very seriously, and anyone allowed behind the caution tape was instructed not to enter “The Cone of Danger,” a triangular-shaped area in front of and behind the catapult where an airborne pumpkin might land. Good thing, too, as we saw a few misfires and one totally rad mid-air disintegration.
The spectators seemed to be a very happy bunch, seated in folding camp chairs and on blankets all along the caution tape, sadistically cheering when pumpkins met their maker. And the competitors didn’t disappoint their audience. Several pumpkins were pre-filled with common baking flour to produce a bigger “ooh, aah” moment upon impact. This effect, and tacos provided by Smokin Jalapeño food truck, made for one very happy crowd.
We’re going to go ahead and say that this SlingFest was the best yet because it was the first time the event was held in Plano, and we all know Plano is the best place for pumpkin-catapulting contests. That’s just common knowledge. Here’s to next year!
Check out this short clip of a pumpkin exploding mid-air.
Enjoy our gallery: (all photos by Jennifer Shertzer)