Did you know that January 3rd is Fruitcake Toss Day? I didn’t either, but apparently this is the day designated for those that hoard fruitcakes to come out and have some fun!

I wonder how far this baby could fly?

While many people receive fruitcakes as host/hostess gifts and enjoy eating them, there is a faction that loves to receive the fruitcakes and then have a tossing competition with their friends and family. But how did this fruitcake tossing phenomenon start? Let’s take a trip to Manitou Springs, CO on January 3, 1996.

Michele Carvell, the former director of the Manitou Chamber of Commerce, noticed that no one in her group of friends ever ate the fruitcakes they received for Christmas. So she thought of the idea of The Fruitcake Tossing competition rather than just tossing them in the trash. The only requirement to get in on the competition was a fruitcake and a strong arm. The initial competitions involved standing in center field and attempting to throw the fruitcakes to hit home plate without bouncing. Over the years, the competition has been expanded to include eight different events, with only three involving throwing for distance. For example, there is the “Launch” category in which the competitors can use a device to launch pieces of fruitcake. Think of a slingshot, a golf club or even a “bow & fruitcake” situation. Or there is the “Targets” division in which you attempt to get closest to a target from 75, 125 and 175 feet away. Of course maybe you would be a star at catching the flying fruitcakes in a glove, net or bucket?


And apparently, there has been cheating in these competitions thereby necessitating the need for “tech inspectors” who are charged with making sure there are “enhanced” fruitcakes! And due to an entry by a number of Boeing engineers one year, there on rules on the launching devices allowed. Seems these engineers created a pneumatic cannon that sent the fruitcake out of the park for a total distance of 1,225.5 feet…the longest human toss is 290 feet! As a result of the “long launchers”, the Fruitcake Toss judges now disqualify anyone who’s fruitcake lands outside of the park!

The event is run as a food collection drive, requiring each entrant to make a donation of a non-perishable food item. There is no prize money, just the pride of being the local fruitcake legend for a year and maybe a cool t-shirt.

So what do you think? How well do you think you would do at a fruitcake tossing competition? This year’s competition is January 26th in Manitou Springs…so you still have time to make your travel arrangments! And don’t worry, you can rent a fruitcake for $1 if you do not have your own!


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