Families looking for long weekend fun made a short trek just outside city limits.
Gammondale Farm was a popular destination on Thanksgiving Monday as the annual Pumpkinfest ran throughout the afternoon.
Dawn Martyniuk brought her three sons with her to the farm, and said there is something for every age group.
“My kids just enjoy it out here. They love running from thing to thing and there’s lots to do,” Martyniuk explained.
“They seem to like the tractor rides. They love watching (the catapult), trying to hit the scarecrow in the field and watching the pumpkin explode.”
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She added her two older sons, six-year-old Luke and four-year-old Noah, are regular visitors to Pumpkinfest. This was the first trip for youngest Nate, who is approaching his first birthday.
Gammondale Farm co-owner Sue Gammond said the goal is to have 5,000 paying customers through the duration of Pumpkinfest, which will run every weekend until the end of the month.
She added the long weekend is traditionally one of their busiest, and helps market the food from their fields.
“This weekend of Thanksgiving has been great because we’ve had good crowds and lots of families out,” Gammond said.
“If we can have the whole family out to have fun then they’ll buy local produce because all of our pumpkins and squash are sold right here at the farm.”
The event takes a lot of work to put together, and preparations begin in early September.
First year worker Kari Peltonen said he had no idea how much work was involved in the operation, which runs from harvesting the pumpkins to decorating the attractions.
“It’s exhausting,” said Peltonen, 12. “I started earlier in September in cutting and harvesting the pumpkins. It’s a lot of work.”
He added the work pays off when he can see the happy faces of people enjoying their afternoons.
Gammond said they regularly see out-of-town visitors, as the farm is regularly host to patrons from across Canada and down into the United States.
As Halloween approaches the farm will kick of their annual Haunted Cornfield event.
The Haunted Cornfield officially kicks off next Friday and Saturday evening and the last weekend of October. Tickets are available in advance, or can be purchased at the gate on the night of each event.
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