OSWEGO - Area resdients had a chance to relieve their 2020 frustrations by smashing a car, breaking plates and glasses, and smashing pumpkins Sunday at Prairie Point Park.
The Oswegoland Park District hosted its first-ever Dine 'n' Smash event, with food trucks and three smashing stations for participants to relieve their stress.
At the event, patrons could use baseball bats or sledgehammers to smash pumpkins to smithereens, dent and damage a car, or throw plates, glassware and cups at a wall as hard as they could.
Recreation Supervisor Cori Veverka said that the year 2020 in general was the inspiration behind the activity.
"I think it's a year with a lot of fear and frustration and anxiety and we were trying to think of fun things to do to vent a little of that," she said.
Veverka compared the Dine 'n' Smash to other park district events like the Pig Pen Afternoon.
"We usually say, 'Don't get dirty, don't play in the mud', we're usually saying 'Don't hit that, don't smash that.' Here we're giving people an opportunity to do those things," she said.
All smashable items at the event were donated, Veverka said. A pumpkin donation was held that morning, following Halloween the day before, dinnerware was provided through garage sales and other donations, and the car was brought in by Aurora-based CIty Auto Wreckers. The guts from the pumpkins will be used to fertilize the park district's community garden, Veverka said.
"It was a lot of fun," Oswego resident Emily Hefner said. "I haven't done the car smashing thing since college and it was a lot of fun. It let out a lot of energy that COVID has started with all of us."
While the inspiration for the event was the current year, Veverka said that the smashing party could return in future years.
"I think that no matter what's going on, it's just really fun to smash things when it's okay and it's safe, and it's not your house and you don't have to clean up," Veverka joked.