Leaves are starting to change colour and pumpkins are ready to be harvested, which means an annual tradition is kicking off.
Families flocked out to the countryside this weekend for the beginning of the 18th annual Pumpkinfest at Gammondale Farm.
Gammondale Farm director Sue Gammond said the event seems to keep getting bigger and bigger as it approaches the two decade mark.
“The weather is great (Sunday),” Gammond said. “Saturday was our biggest first day, even though it was windy and then even rained. We’re just hoping people will enjoy it.”
The farm uses the entertainment draw of Pumpkinfest to help promote the fall harvest. Gammondale grows nearly 15 acres worth of squash and pumpkins, and use the event setting to help sell their crops to the general public.
Gammond said most patrons to Pumpkinfest pay for the entertainment through all of the activities, and then are able to buy local food.
She said it just adds to the complete draw of the farm.
Activities available included a horse-drawn hay ride, pumpkin catapult, horse rides for children, pumpkin peddle carts, and a corn maze.
One of the new initiatives this year is its Needle in the Haystack Contest, which uses social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
A secret scene was posted on the farm’s Facebook page, and those visiting Pumpkinfest are tasked with finding it and sharing it on a social media platform.
There will be weekly prizes to those who discover the scene, as well as a grand prize draw for a family Christmas sleigh ride.
The idea was proposed to them by Firedog, a local PR firm, and it helps keep the farm relevant and fun for different age groups.
Gammond said one of the big reasons the event always evolves is that area children are hired to work as staff, and they always come with new and exciting plans.
“We have lots of new staff. We have great kids that come and everybody is new and somebody will come along with a new idea,” she said, and added they are increasing their social media presence this year.
“We also found out from people in the States that there’s this new game where you could use five colour stations and five fingers and get 128 combinations so we have a new game in the maze. Every year there is something new.”
Pumpkinfest runs every weekend until October 27, and more information can be found on www.gammondalefarm.com.
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