Photo Gallery: The Vermont State Zucchini Festival

  • 01 of 16

    Not Just for Dinner Anymore

    Zucchini Festival Photo - Kids Look at Zucchinis and Zukapults
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Kids will never look at veggies the same way after you take them to the Vermont State Zucchini Festival, held each August in Ludlow. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    You Have to See It to Believe It!

    "We saw zucchinis FLYING through the air!" my three-year-old told anyone who would listen for weeks after we returned from Vermont in August of 2006. And she wasn't making it up. The zukapult competition was definitely the highlight of the Vermont State Zucchini Festival, held annually in Ludlow, Vermont starting in 1997.

    Unfortunately, there has been no Zucchini Festival since 2010, and I am dismayed, since this quirky little event was the anchor of my New England Summer Festivals A-Z round-up for more than a decade. To experience something similar, consider attending a New England Pumpkin Chucking event in the fall.

    You really had to see the Zucchini Festival to believe it. Luckily, I have pictures.... Warning: Like my husband, you may find yourself inspired to build a zukapult. This year, if you want to see what happens to a flying zucchini on impact, you'll have to build a model to test in your own backyard.

    If you're visiting...MORE Ludlow for non-zucchini-related adventures... Compare rates and reviews for Ludlow hotels with TripAdvisor. We found the Best Western Ludlow Colonial (Book Direct) incredibly convenient.

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 02 of 16

    Serious Competition

    Veggie Chucker - Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery The moment we spotted the Veggie Chucker, we knew that the zukapult contest at the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is serious business. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 03 of 16

    How to Build a Zukapult

    How to Build a Zukapult - Zucchini Festival in Vermont
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Like all of the zukapult competitors, members of Team Ba-zuke-a, owners of the Veggie Chucker, were happy to speak with Zucchini Festival visitors about how they built their zucchini-hurling contraption. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 04 of 16

    The Home Team

    Zukapult Contest at Vermont Zucchini Festival - Home Team
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Some zukapult teams traveled from as far as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, but this team hailed from downtown Ludlow. Unfortunately, the home team only started building its zukapult the day of the festival. Could they compete?. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 05 of 16

    A Crowd Gathers

    Photo - Crowd Gathers for the Zukapult Competition at the Zucchini Festival in Vermont
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Spectators prepare for the start of the Zucchini Festival's zukapult competition. The winner is determined based on the total of three zucchini tosses. As you might imagine, the color commentary provided by the crowd was immensely entertaining. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 06 of 16

    Initiate the Launch Sequence

    Vermont State Zucchini Festival Zukapult Contest Photo - Youngest Competitors
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery The two youngest competitors prepare their zukapult for launch. Their ingenious catapult cup that will hold the zucchini is... a Cool Whip container. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 07 of 16

    Fire!

    Zucchini Launched from Zukapult Flies Through the Air - Vermont Zucchini Festival Picture
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Although simple in design, the first zukapult worked like a charm, propelling a zucchini into the air. Not bad for a couple of kids. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

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  • 08 of 16

    Third Time's the Charm

    Home Team Struggles at Zucchini Festival Zukapult Competition - Photo
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery The home team had worse luck. The first zucchini they launched flew backward. The second was catapulted straight down into the ground. But when their third and final zuke soared 20 feet, the crowd went wild. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Technical Difficulties

    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery The team from Massachusetts ran into a few technical difficulties with their Roman-style zukapult, but they still managed to finish in second place at the Zucchini Festival. One of their three tosses launched a zucchini more than 200 feet!. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 10 of 16 below.
  • 10 of 16

    Squashing the Competition

    Vermont State Zucchini Festival in Ludlow Vermont - Squashing the Competition
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery By this point, spectators were on the edge of their lawn chairs waiting to see what the Veggie Chucker could do. This monstrous zukapult was built by a father-son team from Groton, Connecticut, and Westerly, Rhode Island. The release looks good.... © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 11 of 16 below.
  • 11 of 16

    The Zuke is Up

    Flying Zucchini - Zucchini Festival in Vermont
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Now YOU can say you've seen a zucchini flying through the air. That is, if you squint and look carefully in the upper left-hand corner of this photo. Take it from me: It's not easy to photograph flying zucchinis. Want to guess how far this one flew?. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 12 of 16 below.
  • 12 of 16

    The Official Measurement

    Judging the Zukapult Contest at the Vermont State Zucchini Festival - Photograph
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery Judges said the Veggie Chucker's longest zucchini toss was 244 feet! With a total score of 714 feet for three tosses, the contraption's owners won first prize. My husband, the engineer, spent the evening building a better zukapult in his mind, of course. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    But Wait, There's More!

    Zucchini Festival Ludlow Vermont - But Wait There's More
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery The zukapult contest is the big highlight of the annual Zucchini Festival, of course, but there's more to this quirky event in Ludlow, Vermont, including rides for little kids, craft vendors, music, food, children's activities and other contests. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 14 of 16 below.
  • 14 of 16

    The Duke of Zuke

    Duke of Zuke - Logo for the Vermont State Zucchini Festival
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery My three-year-old enjoyed coloring a picture of the Duke of Zuke. My husband gets an even bigger kick out of wearing the Duke of Zuke T-shirt we bought. The zucchini cartoon character that serves as the festival's logo was created by a Vermont designer. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 15 of 16 below.
  • 15 of 16

    Versatile Zucchini

    Versatile Zucchini - Making Zucchini Art at the Zucchini Festival in Vermont
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery According to the organizers, "Anything can become a zucchini-based activity." Here, my husband and daughter make zucchini art. The much-maligned squash that grows so well in New England is more versatile than you ever imagined, eh?. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.

    Continue to 16 of 16 below.
  • 16 of 16

    Stick a Fork in It!

    Zucchini Festival Vermont - Picture of Zucchini Art with Forks
    ••• Vermont State Zucchini Festival Photo Gallery By noon on Sunday, after munching on zucchini cookies, we were ready to head for home (after giving up on creating zucchini art as elaborate as this!).The Zucchini Festival is a small event, but it's definitely an experience we'll never forget. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius

    Traditionally held the third weekend of August, the Vermont State Zucchini Festival is a one-of-a-kind New England event you have to see to believe.