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Pumpkins bashed, smashed at Flinchbaugh's Orchard
A small area outside Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market was covered in shards of gourds Saturday afternoon, the result of the Hellam Township market's first Pumpkin Smash Bash.
"It was very satisfying," said Tim Gindling, of College Park, Maryland, one of many who took Flinchbaugh's up on its offer to smash leftover pumpkins to smithereens with an aluminum baseball bat.
The pumpkin-bashing was just one of several ways the farm was disposing of the pumpkins and gourds that remained unsold after Halloween.
Bashing: In prior years, the market disposed of its leftovers in more conventional ways, but this year the business decided to change it up. The operators allowed visitors to smash, bash and throw various pumpkins and gourds.
"Everyone wants to smash a pumpkin," said Julie Keene, manager of the market.
For $6, visitors could throw the pumpkins at a "dartboard" of spikes, drop them from a small height or even roll them in a "skee ball"-like game. All proceeds went to Humankind Water, an organization dedicated to providing clean water to those who can't normally access it.
Pumpkins and gourds: About two hours in, it was clear that two attractions, the gourd launch and the pumpkin smash, were causing the biggest stir.
For the pumpkin smash, people were given as many opportunities as possible to turn that pumpkin to mush with a baseball bat.
Sam Reineberg, a 14-year-old from Virginia who was visiting family in the area, was among those smashing.
"I kind of obliterated it," he said of his pumpkin.
Not satisfied, he ended up smashing the remnants of another nearby pumpkin.
"I think I was only supposed to destroy one," he said, adding that he was eyeing a third.
Gindling said his daughter lives in Hallam and that when he found out about the pumpkin smash, he was excited.
"We've been looking forward to this for weeks," he said. He drove more than an hour to take part.
The Maryland resident said he had not smashed pumpkins before, aside from crushing some jack-o-lanterns to get them to fit in the trash.
"It was fun," he said, after taking several swings at what would become a small orange, mushy pile.
For those looking for less smashing and more shooting, the gourd slingshot was the way to go. Visitors were given three gourds of their choice to shoot. They had the opportunity to shoot at a target or shoot the gourd as far as they wanted. Keene said people launching the gourds could fire them off to distances exceeding 180 feet from the launch site.
The remnants of the gourds and pumpkins will be mowed over and turned into compost, so nothing will go to waste, the market manager said.
First Annual Pumpkin Smash Bash Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, at Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market in Hellam Township. All proceeds from the event went to Humankind Water, which provides clean water to those in need.
A little more than halfway into the event, Keene said she was happy with the turnout and said she hoped to hold the event again next year.
"It's kind of fun to get a glimpse of people enjoying it," she said.
For more information on Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market, check here.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.