Celebrating two decades of gourd hurling, the West Virginia University College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is hosting its 20th annual Pumpkin Drop at 11 a.m. today (Oct. 26) at the Engineering Sciences Building on the Evansdale Campus.

Sponsored by the WVU Student Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the event has become an annual favorite for area residents of all ages.

All proceeds benefit the Morgantown Ronald McDonald House, which provides services to families of hospitalized children.

A pre-registration form, contest rules and directions for bus drivers are available online. Visithttp://www.mae.cemr.wvu.edu/news, and then click on20th annual Pumpkin Dropfor details. The pre-registration form must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 22.

As always, gourd hurlers will toss their pumpkinsin containers they design before the competitionfrom the top of the 11-story Engineering Sciences Building toward a target on the ground.

The challenge is to hit closest to the target center without damage to the pumpkin. All pumpkins must be free falling (no bungee cords allowed).

A team of engineering faculty, staff and students will monitor pumpkin containers for size, weight, safety and design, and will judge surviving pumpkins on how close they land to the designated target.

Prizes will be $50 for first place, $25 for second and $10 for third.

Due to the popularity of the event, only the first 150 pre-registered teams (returned pre-registration forms with the $10 entry fee) will be accepted for participation.

Check-in for teams will begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Engineering Sciences Building. No walk-in registrations will be accepted.

Participants are asked to keep the safety of fellow pumpkin droppers and observers in mind while designing their pumpkin containers. Pumpkin containers with heavy, sharp and protruding metal will be disqualified, as well as any other containers that are considered to be unsafe.

WVU mechanical and aerospace engineering students are challenging other student organizations, individual students and faculty from WVU , surrounding universities, colleges and schools to make the 20th annual great fruit fling the best ever.

Pumpkins will plummet, rain or shine.

For more information, call the WVU Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 304-293-4111, ext. 2330.