For the 19th year in a row, people will line up to fling pumpkins off the roof of the West Virginia University Engineering Sciences Building during the annual Pumpkin Drop on Friday, Oct. 27.

The Pumpkin Drop, sponsored by the WVU Student Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, will begin at 11 a.m. Pumpkins will fly rain or shine.

The event typically attracts more than 1,000 spectators. Groups of school children, college students and others throw their pumpkins from the roof of the Engineering Sciences Building at a target 11 floors below. The object is to hit closest to the target center and have the pumpkin stay intact.

Due to the events huge popularity, only the first 150 preregistered teams (returned preregistration forms with entry fee) will be accepted for participation this year. No walk-in registrations will be accepted. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Engineering Sciences Building.

Every contest has its rules, and the Pumpkin Drop is no exception. Pumpkins must be at least 10 inches in diameter or larger, and pumpkins and their protective structure cannot weigh more than 60 pounds. The inside of the pumpkin may not be altered, and no Styrofoam peanuts or other small, nonbiodegradable packaging fillers are allowed. Packages must be designed so that the pumpkin can be removed for inspection by the ground crew within 30 seconds after hitting the ground. And, pumpkins must be free falling (no bungee cords).

Participants are asked to keep the safety of fellow participants and observers in mind when designing their pumpkin containers. Containers with heavy, sharp and/or protruding metal will be disqualified, as well as any other containers that are not judged to be safe.

A team of WVU engineering faculty, staff and students will monitor pumpkin containers for size, weight, safety and design, as well as judge surviving pumpkins on how close they land to the target. Prizes to be awarded include: first place, $50; second place, $25; and third place, $10.

Besides being a fun engineering event, the contest is a fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, which provides lodging for families of hospitalized children.

For complete contest rules, a preregistration form and directions, visit

For more information, call the WVU Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at 304-293-3111.