If you've never seen a pumpkin catapult through the air, then head to Crabtree Farms on Saturday, Nov. 2, for its live Pumpkin Chuckin' at 11 a.m.
It's part of the family fun planned during the daylong Pumpkin Smash, a fall harvest festival at the urban farm on East 30th Street. Pumpkin Chuckin', also known as pumpkin chunkin', combines science and engineering to build a trebuchet that will successfully hurl heavy pumpkins through the air toward targets ... or just to watch them smash for the fun of it.
Joel Houser says visitors are invited to bring their leftover Halloween jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkins to launch from a custom-made trebuchet built by Britt Wood for this pumpkin smash. It is 10 feet tall and 13 feet wide. A physics class from Boyd-Buchanan School will compete in a trebuchet square-off in the early afternoon hours to see who can hurl small gourds and pumpkins the furthest.
If that's not enough to catch your attention, there will be bluegrass music, a petting zoo, tractor rides and a free game alley offering corn hole, potato sack races, butternut squash relays and other activities.
Three pie-eating contests are set: 11 a.m., 12:45 and 2 p.m. Visitors can sign up for the event in the welcome tent when they arrive; walk-ups will be accepted before each contest as space allows.
Admission is $2, or you can bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and get in for free. The pie-eating contests, hay rides and pumpkin tosses will require 50-cent tickets. A $10 plate dinner featuring locally grown and prepared foods will be sold beginning at 5:30 p.m. before the day closes with a bonfire and more music.
* If you are looking to scratch a few more names off your Christmas list, visit Rattling Gourd Arts Festival in Summerville, Ga. Its unusual name is that of an American Indian who was a resident of that area before it became Chattooga County.
Pottery, rustic wood furniture and handmade scarves are among the fine arts and crafts that will be shown by regional artists.
* The Mountain Arts & Crafts Celebration is another juried show this weekend that features original work by 50 artists and craftsmen. With fall color really starting to splash the trees, this drive up Lookout Mountain to Cloudland Canyon State Park should be an enjoyable day trip.
Harry Abell, marketing and communications spokesman for the park, says there will be pottery, ceramics, photography, paintings, woodcarving, handmade quilts, textiles, unusual birdhouses and other work for sale. Musicians will be on-site to entertain shoppers, along with a variety of festival food concessionaires. Inside the park's Interpretive Center will be a variety of crafts for youngsters to make.
* Oakwood Baptist Church is hosting a community harvest festival at its campus in Chickamauga, Ga., Saturday afternoon.
"We want to make a connection with families who live, work and play in the same community we do," says pastor Allen Farris of the event, which will be held rain or shine.
From 2 to 5 p.m., there will be inflatables, booths for games and crafts, a corn hole tournament, car cruise-in, tractor show and a chili cook-off.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
* Battle Banzai: Battle Academy, 1601 Market St. Circus-themed carnival includes games, silent auction, some craft vendors, aerial dance and unicyclists, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; 50 cents to $1 for tickets for activities. 423-209-5747.
* Canyon Fest: Little River Canyon Center, 4322 Little River Canyon Parkway, Fort Payne, Ala. Music, nature and arts demonstrations, children's activities, food, vendors, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. CDT Saturday. Free. 256-782-5697.
* Chickamauga Harvest Festival: Oakwood Baptist Church, 115 Oakwood St., Chickamauga, Ga. Events 2-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. 706-375-5760.
* Christmas Bazaar: St. Thaddaeus Episcopal Church, 300 Locksley Lane. Baked goods and handmade items sold to raise funds for rector's discretionary fund, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 423-892-2377.
* Christmas Bazaar: Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church, 6191 Highway 28, Dunlap, Tenn. Handcrafted Christmas items and bake sale, noon-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (all times Central). Free admission. Half of proceeds to be donated to Sequatchie County Food Bank. 423-949-4927.
* Fall Carnival: Siskin Early Learning Center - 1602 Gunbarrel Road. Children's games, pumpkin painting, silent auction, food, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. $3 adults, $2 children older than 12 months. 423-643-4059.
* Ladies Holiday Shopping Extravaganza: Red Bank Community Center, Morrison Springs Road. Twenty-two vendors, 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Mountain Arts & Crafts Celebration: Cloudland Canyon State Park, 122 Cloudland Park Road, Rising Fawn, Ga. Fundraiser sponsored by Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free admission, $5 parking. 706-406-3440.
* Pumpkin Smash: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Family fun on the farm with cider, tractor rides, BB gun shootout, children's activities,10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. Bring pumpkin from home for Pumpkin Chuckin' trebuchet. $2 admission, free with donation of nonperishable food item to Chattanooga Area Food Bank; game tickets 50 cents each; plate dinner $10. 423-756-0303.
* Rattling Gourd Arts Festival: Chattooga County Civic Center, 44 Highway 48, Summerville, Ga. Juried show of fine art and craft by regional artists, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 706-857-0700.