Z-Rock hosts Pumpkinhead 2022 at Carl’s Jr.


Sam Kyes

Contestants competing in Pumpkinhead 2022. Photo by Sam Kyes.

For over 20 years radio station 106.7 FM Z-Rock has hosted an annual Pumpkinhead event, a competition in which contestants wear jack-o-lanterns on their heads and stand on milk crates, where the last person standing wins.

On a particularly windy Oct. 22, twelve contestants competed for nearly 12 straight hours, from 8 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Carl’s Jr. on 2516 Esplanade

The contest was one of endurance, in which the victor won $1000. Half the contestants fell by noon, leaving six left. One by one they fell, until Tia Wood was declared the winner of the cash prize.

Pumpkinheads had to compete in various challenges designed to try and make them fall, all while having to endure standing.

These challenges ranged from “DUI,” in which contestants had to stand on one leg and balance themselves, to donkey kicks, where people had to stand on one leg and kick back with the other. The former knocked out three contestants, while the latter was less successful and knocked out none.

Contestants dealt with another challenge outside of their control: the wind.

Blowing at 15 mph, the wind didn’t knock over any contestants, but the inflatable Halloween decoration next to the Z-Rock booth was knocked over more than once. 

“Yeah, this wind has definitely made things interesting. We’ll keep going till the last one though,” Paul Boris, Z-Rock DJ and coordinator of the event, said.

A modest number of people, a little over a dozen, showed up at the event to watch the contestants, some friends and family, some bystanders. As cars drove past, they honked their horns in support for the contestants. Some even recorded the event from their phone as they drove past.

One of the contestants, Jaden Check, had only one thing in mind when he signed up to participate. 

When asked why they wanted to compete, Check said “Because I was stupid enough to sign up. And I want that money.”

The event lasted all the way to 7:30 p.m., when Tia Wood was declared the winner. This was her second year in a row winning Pumpkinhead. 

When asked what the secret to her success was, she said “Not really a secret. I just focused in one spot and just … didn’t do anything else.” Wood plans on “definitely” returning next year to defend her title. 

If you would like to learn more about events from Z-Rock or listen to rock music, you can check out their website here. If you have any interest in competing, you can sign up next year for your chance to win $1000. See if you can beat Tia Wood, Pumpkinhead champion two years in a row.