Families enjoy fall at Barten Pumpkins

By: 
Patrick Fisher, The New Prague Times

Jim Bendzick, partially hidden, fires off a pumpkin from his air cannon at Barten Pumpkins on October 10 at a target 1,000 feet away. (Patrick Fisher photo)

he New Prague Times There was no shortage of entertainment at Barten Pumpkins west of New Prague on Saturday, Oct. 10. While families were mainly taking time to find pumpkins for jack o’lanterns or for other decorative purposes, Jim Bendzick was busy firing off pumpkins from an air cannon at a target and artist Greg Preslicka was engaged in painting a mural on a barn.

People stopped to watch Preslicka, a 1983 graduate of New Prague High School, paint the mural, which will include Fran Barten and her late husband Roman, who began the pumpkin patch. A sketch in blue paint adorns the barn giving a rough idea of what the mural will look like. On Saturday, Preslicka was filling in the details of a line of pumpkins, hay bales and a little wagon heaped with pumpkins. The finished mural will have tractors, corn and families.

Away from the pumpkin picking patches, Bendzick was loading his air cannon with pumpkins smaller than 10 inches, then firing the orange orbs off to a target 1,000 feet away. He explained the cannon is made from a 1,000 gallon LP tank with a 21-inch metal barrel attached to it. Since it worked off air pressure the cannon needed 5-10 minutes to recharge between firings. If anyone missed the event, Bendzick was going to be back at Barten Pumpkins on Saturday, Oct. 17, between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I’ve always wanted to build one,” said Bendzick about the air cannon. When the pandemic began he...

To see more on this story pick up the October 15, 2020 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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