Due to safety concerns over spitting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual “cricket spitting” competition is being replaced by a “cricket flinging” event. Entomology outreach coordinator Gwen Pearson said cricket flinging was identified as a good replacement that would also be viewed as a safer option.
The humanely euthanized, frozen crickets will be placed in plastic spoons and flung as far as the participant can launch them. Part of the fun, Pearson said, is contestants can fling the crickets out of the spoons whatever way they choose.
“Although I think most will use the spoon as a catapult, there are no rules that say you can’t spin around with the cricket in the spoon and launch it out like you’re throwing a shot put,” Pearson said.
The original Cricket spitting event was invented at Purdue in 1996 by Professor Tom Turpin.
The contest is part of the annual Bug Bowl, which is one of the largest insect festivals in the country. Families can take part in hands-on insect activities including an insect petting zoo.
The Spring Fest event is Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.