Team will use Moab festival to shoot for pumpkin-shot record

When Chris Ransier decided to become a certified land surveyor, the Grand Junction man never thought his job would involve world records.

On Friday and Saturday, however, Ransier will measure attempts to break the world record for the distance a pumpkin is blasted by a cannon. The mark is 4,491 feet.

Ransier was asked to attend the Moab Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival with his surveying instruments so that he could measure the attempt for the Guinness Book of World Records. Ransier’s firm, Souder, Miller & Associates, has done work previously in the city of Moab, which is how Ransier thinks event organizers found him in Grand Junction.

Ransier said measuring the distance a pumpkin is blasted from an air cannon is the most unusual job he ever has been assigned. But his two young sons will be with him, and they enjoy watching things fly in the sky.

“I think they are going to love it,” Ransier said.

“The Big 10 Inch” air cannon team from the Delaware River Valley is attempting to break the record. The team chose Moab because of its elevation, 4,025 feet, and because the Youth Garden Project of Moab is putting on the pumpkin festival.

“We think we can shoot farther in the thinner air, and Moab’s event is a perfect tune-up for us since it is just a week before the world championships in Delaware,” said Rob Eschborn II, spokesman for “Big 10 Inch.”

His team hopes to shoot a pumpkin one mile, which would easily surpass the record.

If the team doesn’t break the record Friday, it will try again Saturday, Ransier was told.

The festival is Saturday at the Old Airport south of Moab and will include a pumpkin pie eating contest, a pumpkin seed spitting contest, races for costumed wiener dogs, a straw-bale maze and other games for children, and live bluegrass music.


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