By Michael Abeyta

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Imagine an event where pumpkins are launched into the air and travel nearly a mile at 400 mph. It’s the annual Punkin Chunkin Colorado and it’s more than just a festival to some, it’s a science.

John Heffelfinger from Littleton is out in Aurora’s open space tweaking and making last minute adjustments.

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(credit: CBS)

“I have accumulated probably close to 2,000 hours in research and time into this machine.”

He’s getting ready to “chunk a punkin.” That means take a gourd and toss it with a hand built machine. The gourds can travel close to a mile.

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(credit: CBS)

“They’re probably hitting close to 400 mph.”

He’s getting ready for Punkin Chunkin Colorado.

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(credit: CBS)

“Punkin Chunkin is a family friendly fall festival where twenty four teams come together with hand built machines to see how far they can launch a pumpkin,” said City of Aurora Marketing Specialist Brittni Ehrhart.

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(credit: CBS)

On Thursday, John was just testing his rig, but as big as this thing is and as far as it throws a pumpkin, it is still a major operation. And while you might come to see all the action, he just like all the other teams, are here for just one reason.

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(credit: CBS)

“Gotta beat that world record you know” he said.

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(credit: CBS)

If you want to go, admission is $5. Children ages 4 and under are free and there’s plenty of free parking.

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(credit: CBS)

LINK: Punkin Chunkin Colorado

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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