By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
EVERETT — The trebuchets are tall, heavy and squash nearly everything they throw. This weekend, they will throw pumpkins.
The fifth annual Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire set for today and Sunday features different teams competing with their trebuchets.
“It’s a way to honor history and our ancestors,” said Snohomish resident Bill Gruner, who is not in the competition but plans to show off the 12-foot trebuchet he made of steel and wood.
For him, the attraction was all about designing and building one.
Trebuchets are a type of weapon used in the Middle Ages especially to attack castles and fortresses. The machines, similar to a catapult, use a counter-weight to add force to each throw.
The event also features medieval, viking and Roman reenactments.
The big draw, however, will be watching 8-pound pumpkins fly.
This is the first time the event runs for two days. Organizers expect 2,000 people to attend.
About 1,500 people attended the one-day events in 2011 and 2010, event manager Debbie Carlson-Gould said.
On Friday, the first team to arrive and set up their trebuchet was current champion Squash-O-Fire from Sedro-Woolley. Captain Fred Smethers, 58, said the team had spent about four months building the 14-foot-tall trebuchet.
“It’s fun to see the pumpkins fly and entertain the people who come and see it,” Smethers said.
This year is the first time competing for sixth-grader Gideon Chua, 11, of Mukilteo. He is competing with a 5-feet trebuchet he made for a class project at Olympic View Middle School.
He worked on the machine for three days with his dad. At the end of the week, Gideon was working to repair the counterweight and adding a trigger lever for the machine, called Pumpkin Smasher.
“We are confident we can throw a 2-pound pumpkin, but I don’t think it’s going too far,” said Marnee Chua, Gideon’s mother.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange all over
The Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow, at the Alexander Farm, corner of Ebey Island Road and 43rd Avenue SE, in Everett.
There will also be medieval, Viking and Roman re-enactors.
Tickets are $5; children under 5 enter free. Parking costs $5.
For more information, go to www.festivalofpumpkins.org.