Cheyenne Duos Say BOO-M to Halloween & Blow Up 1,500 Lb Pumpkin
It's the Great Pumpkin, Cheyenne...or at least, it was. Yesterday, pumpkin growing extraordinaires Andy and Amy Corbin bid a fond farewell to one of their giant gourds yesterday. It was quite the impressive send-off; an entire crowd of people came to wish the pumpkin "Bomb-voyage." After all, who wouldn't want to see a 1,500-pound pumpkin blown to smithereens?
Bomb-Voyage to Blanca, the 1,500 Pound Pumpkin
It's not everyday a preacher finds himself authorizing a pumpkin explosion on church grounds. But that's exactly what Minister Chris Krotz did when Andy and Amy Corbin came to him with their unique request.
"They said, 'exploding pumpkin,' and you said..." I asked him. Standing in the numbing cold, Krotz was all smiles despite the chill.
"Uh yeah, let's do that. Absolutely." he laughed (because what else would you say to explode a giant pumpkin, am I right?) "Um, we uh, you know, we just want to check with, you know, all of the regulations and everything. Make sure that we're safe. And then, when the sheriff's department [and] fire department gave us the green light...We were like, we're, we're doing this. We had a great turnout today at the trunk or treat my son loved it, and what a great way to to cap it off. And hopefully, we'll do it again next year."
As for the Corbins, exploding Blanca capped off a remarkable season of pumpkin-growing competition. Blanca won first place at the Colorado Springs growers competition - and shockingly, the 1,500+ pound pumpkin wasn't the Corbins' largest gourd of the year. That honor went to the 2,062-pound giantess named 'Carmen,' a.k.a. the largest pumpkin ever grown in Wyoming, who was on display at the carnival but was safely away from all explosives that evening.
Why blow up a prized pumpkin, I asked Andy. "I've never been able to blow up a pumpkin. I've always wanted to blow up a pumpkin. So our preacher here, Chris, is motivated. And we had someone who we knew could shoot the bullet at the pumpkin, too. So everything worked out, and we're just going to get to see how big of an explosion we'll get."
And what an explosion it was. According to Corbin, the walls of Blanca were an astonishing twelve inches thick - not exactly easy to punch through. For this operation, the Corbins knew they'd need to call in some experts.
To ensure the pumpkin would, in fact, go BOOM, they called in another dynamic duo, Dan Moss (pictured below), a retired member of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. Moss, assisted by his son Jacob, used his Ruger 270 rifle to take aim at the 20 pounds of tannerite explosive nestled in the pumpkin. With 24 years of military service under his belt, Moss had no issue hitting the target.
What is Tannerite?
According to the ATF, tannerite is a "binary explosive" of "pre-packaged products consisting of two separate components, usually an oxidizer like ammonium nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal." When those two components are mixed together, the volatile mixture becomes an explosive that falls under ATF's regulations, which is why Krotz and the Corbins ensured they followed all guidelines and regulations before launching their explosive endeavor.
Moss shared he couldn't believe he was getting a chance to shoot the pumpkin and casually joked, "If I miss, add some explosions into the footage."
Say BOO-m to Halloween (and Bye to Blanca the Pumpkin!)
I didn't have to add in any smoke or cinders to this footage, though. Check out the explosion...and the very tiny remains of the pumpkin:
1500 lb Pumpkin Explosion by Cheyenne.DME@townsquaremedia.com
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Gallery Credit: Phylicia Peterson, Townsquare Media Laramie/Cheyenne