Depew High School took home this year’s two top honors in the Trebuchet Contest

Depew High School took home this year’s two top honors in the Trebuchet Contest

It was a great day for the annual high school Trebuchet Contest at the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence! Depew High School took home this year’s two top honors: Longest Single Throw (687 feet) and Combined Throws (total of 2,004 feet – a new record!).

Forestville Central School District came in second in both categories with a Longest Single Throw of 502 feet and a Combined Throws total of 1,195 feet.

Pioneer Central School District came in third for Longest Single Throw (391 feet) and Williamsville South took third honors in the Combined Throws with a total of 1,093 feet.  Pioneer Central took the Storming The Castle trophy.

Watch High School Teams Catapult to Greatness During the 13th Annual Trebuchet Contest

Area high school technology teams have been working for weeks to design and build trebuchets (pronounced treb-yeh-SHETs) to compete in this weekend’s annual Pumpkin Catapult Contest, as part of The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Thirteen teams from area schools are scheduled to compete for distance and accuracy and with enough precision to win cash prizes and trophies for their schools and prestige for their teams.

The competition starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 21, with winners being announced at approximately 4:00 p.m.*

Here is a list of competing schools and times:**:

  • 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Williamsville South
    • Harkness Center East
    • Newfane
    • Buffalo Academy of Science
    • Nardin Academy
    • Pioneer Central
    • Scio Central
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Harkness Center West
    • Forestville Central
    • Clarence
    • Fredonia
    • Genesee Valley
    • Depew

*NOTE: Media can call Nancy Cardillo at 716.472.6728 after 1:30 p.m. Sunday to get a better idea of the time the winners will be announced.

**Subject to change for individual schools.

A trebuchet is a slingshot-like weapon used in medieval siege warfare that relies only on counterweight – no springs, motors, or agents like gun powder – to hurl large stones or other missiles. In this competition, pumpkins are the “missiles.”

Teams are required to design, build and test their trebuchet using knowledge learned in math, science and technology courses. Trebuchets must be constructed only of wood and the hardware necessary for assembly; no other materials can be used, except for reinforcement of gussets and load-bearing areas, and trebuchets must meet requirements set forth by the rules of the contest.

Cash prizes are awarded for the longest distance shot, highest total combined shots and for “storming the castle”(hitting a target 150 feet away). All teams receive a plaque for participating.

Students from Depew High School took two of the top three honors last year: Longest Single Throw (502 feet) and Combined Throws (total of 1,427 feet). Buffalo Academy of Science took the Storming the Castle trophy.

Other special attractions at the Fall Festival this weekend include:

  • Wild Bull Rides! Take your chances with a wild ride on the mechanical bull, available weekends through October 28. Just $5.00!
  • Dinosaurs in the Cornmaze: Animatronic dinosaurs Vinnie and Teddy will roam the cornmaze from noon to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday looking for their prey!
  • In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show Comedy, juggling and family fun! Show times are 1:30 & 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Entertainment Building
  • Live Music in the Witches Brew Bar (indoors or outdoors, depending on weather) includes Harvey Brice & The Unbroken on Saturday, October 20 and Somebody Maybe Band on Sunday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; mechanical bull rides; hayrides; cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

Molly Schuyler from Sacramento, CA won our annual Pie Eating Contest again this year by eating 44 pieces in 10 minutes.

Molly Schuyler from Sacramento, CA won our annual Pie Eating Contest again this year by eating 44 pieces in 10 minutes.

Molly Schuyler (from Sacramento, CA) won the contest again this year by eating 44 pieces in 10 minutes. She took home $1,000.

There was an “eat off” for second and third place, as both Bob Shoudt (on the left in the photo) and Dan Kennedy each ate 34 pieces. Dan ended up with second place honors by eating two additional pieces of pie in less time than Bob. Dan (who is from West Decatur, PA) took home $500; Bob (who is from Royersford, PA) took home $250. There were 12 entrants this year.

Watch Professional Eaters Attempt A New World Record This Weekend at the Great Pumpkin Farm!

Watch Professional Eaters Attempt A New World Record This Weekend at the Great Pumpkin Farm!

Annual Hands-free World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest Takes Place Sunday.

At last year’s Hands-free World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest during the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival, Competitive Eater, Molly Schuyler of California, set a new world record by consuming 48 5.6 oz. pieces of pumpkin pie – that’s 16.8 lbs. of creamy, crusty pie! Can that record be beaten this year? Find out on Sunday, October 14, beginning at 1:00 p.m., as professional eaters from Western New York and around the country compete for cash prizes in the officially sanctioned Competition, held in conjunction with Professional Eater Bob Shoudt.

The World Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition is a favorite with fans and contestants because hands cannot touch the actual pieces of pie, only the paper plates. And the stakes are high, as contestants try to beat the current world record to gain the glory of taking their place in history as one of the country’s greatest “All Around” competitive eaters, along with the title of “World Hands-Free Pumpkin Pie Eating Champion.”

Schuyler, who is currently ranked the #1 Female Independent Competitive Eater in the World (according to her Facebook page) has won this competition the last four years – what will happen this year? Find out this weekend! Prizes totaling $1,800 will be awarded, including the $1,000 grand prize.

It’s the Annual World Pumpkin Weigh-off at the Great Pumpkin Farm This Weekend!

It’s the Annual World Pumpkin Weigh-off at the Great Pumpkin Farm This Weekend!

Food Network’s 2018 Chopped: “Grill Masters” Tournament Champion Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson to make special appearance.

Loosely translated, “Viva La Barbacoa!” means “Long Live Barbecue!” – and that’s the theme for the annual KSBC-sanctioned Oinktoberfest, being held this weekend – September 21-23 – as part of the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Oinktoberfest is New York State’s official and longest running BBQ cook-off event. Teams from all over the east coast and Canada are scheduled to compete.

The tradition of Mexican barbacoa is slow roasting various meats in a brick-lined fire pit in the ground. Often the meats are wrapped in plant leaves, such as banana or agave, to help keep the meat moist. There are regional variations across Mexico using different meats, seasonings and sauces, but the principal is the same. Low and slow cooking with a wood fire is as traditional as it gets for real BBQ, and with the resurgence of Mexican food throughout the country, it only seems appropriate to celebrate this style of BBQ at this popular cookoff event.

Meet and Greet with Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson

Guests at this weekend’s Fall Festival will have the opportunity to meet Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson, who was recently crowned champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped: Grill Masters” Tournament. Chef Boots was able to showcase his culinary background and blend his knowledge of Barbecue into a winning formula as he was able to one-by-one dethrone champions from North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City.

Chef Boots is gearing up for the launch of his Red Cup BBQ Sauce collection as well as the release of his up-and-coming book, “Dad’s Day Off.”  In addition to Chopped: Grill Masters, Chef Boots has made appearances on competition series such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Man vs Child and Late Night Chef Fight. He will be at the Fall Festival all three days this weekend.

Here are the highlights of this weekend’s Fall Festival:

Friday, September 21 – PREVIEW NIGHT

  • Gates open at 5:00 p.m.; there is NO admission charge, as the Fall Festival will not be open Friday Night.
  • Guests can enjoy finger-lickin’ delicious BBQ from the participating contestants (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • The Witches Brew Bar & Café will offer great food, beer, wine and Halloween drinks.
  • Buffalo’s own Miller and Other Sinners will provide a southern soul backdrop of great music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the main stage.
  • Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters and sample some of his famous sauces from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22 – KCBS-sanctioned competition

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • The BBQ competition begins at noon. Team entries will be judged and scored according to KCBS guidelines and rules. Food categories will include chicken, pork ribs, pork butt/shoulder and beef brisket. The scores of these four categories determine the Grand Champion. (Visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a full list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

Sunday, September 23 – Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • There will be more delicious eats with the Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; hayrides; five-acre cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

It’s Viva La Barbacoa! This Weekend at The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival’s Oinktoberfest.

It’s Viva La Barbacoa! This Weekend at The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival’s Oinktoberfest.

Food Network’s 2018 Chopped: “Grill Masters” Tournament Champion Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson to make special appearance.

Loosely translated, “Viva La Barbacoa!” means “Long Live Barbecue!” – and that’s the theme for the annual KSBC-sanctioned Oinktoberfest, being held this weekend – September 21-23 – as part of the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Oinktoberfest is New York State’s official and longest running BBQ cook-off event. Teams from all over the east coast and Canada are scheduled to compete.

The tradition of Mexican barbacoa is slow roasting various meats in a brick-lined fire pit in the ground. Often the meats are wrapped in plant leaves, such as banana or agave, to help keep the meat moist. There are regional variations across Mexico using different meats, seasonings and sauces, but the principal is the same. Low and slow cooking with a wood fire is as traditional as it gets for real BBQ, and with the resurgence of Mexican food throughout the country, it only seems appropriate to celebrate this style of BBQ at this popular cookoff event.

Meet and Greet with Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson

Guests at this weekend’s Fall Festival will have the opportunity to meet Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson, who was recently crowned champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped: Grill Masters” Tournament. Chef Boots was able to showcase his culinary background and blend his knowledge of Barbecue into a winning formula as he was able to one-by-one dethrone champions from North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City.

Chef Boots is gearing up for the launch of his Red Cup BBQ Sauce collection as well as the release of his up-and-coming book, “Dad’s Day Off.”  In addition to Chopped: Grill Masters, Chef Boots has made appearances on competition series such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Man vs Child and Late Night Chef Fight. He will be at the Fall Festival all three days this weekend.

Here are the highlights of this weekend’s Fall Festival:

Friday, September 21 – PREVIEW NIGHT

  • Gates open at 5:00 p.m.; there is NO admission charge, as the Fall Festival will not be open Friday Night.
  • Guests can enjoy finger-lickin’ delicious BBQ from the participating contestants (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • The Witches Brew Bar & Café will offer great food, beer, wine and Halloween drinks.
  • Buffalo’s own Miller and Other Sinners will provide a southern soul backdrop of great music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the main stage.
  • Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters and sample some of his famous sauces from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22 – KCBS-sanctioned competition

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • The BBQ competition begins at noon. Team entries will be judged and scored according to KCBS guidelines and rules. Food categories will include chicken, pork ribs, pork butt/shoulder and beef brisket. The scores of these four categories determine the Grand Champion. (Visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a full list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

Sunday, September 23 – Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • There will be more delicious eats with the Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; hayrides; five-acre cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!