Halloween pumpkins pulverized at annual Pumpkin Smash event

Their service as Halloween jack o' lanterns completed, dozens of pumpkins entered the next phase of existence on Saturday: compost.

The annual Pumpkin Smash hosted at Coyote Run Golf Course in Flossmoor gave local kids a chance to gleefully turn their pumpkins into pulp. 

Organizers from the Chicago Southland Green Committee provided several options for pumpkin destruction.

"You can smash it, fling it or drop it," Homewood’s village arborist Bryon Doerr said. 

Many kids chose the traditional sledge hammer as their tool, but the giant slingshot was popular, too. A big wooden bull's eye mounted on the far edge of the dumpster gave youngsters something to aim for and, at least when they hit it, dropped the pumpkin remains into the container.

New this year was a pumpkin drop option. Dave Ward, superintendent of golf at Coyote Run, took pumpkins up high in an aerial bucket, then dropped them to the parking lot below, where most exploded.

The Heather Hill Green Team and members of the Homewood-Flossmoor High School Key Club wielded scoop shovels to transfer the pumpkin remains from the parking lot surface to a dumpster.

Doerr said the pumpkin remains would be given to Possibility Place Nursery for recycling.

Photos by Eric Crump, except as noted.

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