CPP’s annual Pumpkin Festival makes its return with new attractions

By Anais Hernandez and Jocelyn Reyes, Oct. 11, 2022

Cal Poly Pomona welcomed the fall season with its annual Pumpkin Festival on the first of October with live music, food and interactive activities for the community to enjoy.

Sticking to tradition, CPP hosted its 29th Pumpkin Fest featuring attractions like pumpkin picking, hayrides, petting farms and a corn and sunflower maze for children and adults to enjoy. This event has come a long way. It initially began as a weekend-long event hosted by AGRIscapes where people could cut their own pumpkins, but as the festival gained exposure, the demand for pumpkins grew and the harvest was moved to Spadra Farm. It has now become a month-long event that brings the surrounding community together to learn more about CPP and what the agriculture department offers.

During the month of October, the Pumpkin Festival welcomes as many as 120,000 visitors. This year the event has more than 100 students working, including support from staff and volunteers from the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. Visitors can expect to have fun and interact with clubs and organizations available at CPP.

“It’s a great outreach to the community and they can come and learn a bit about CPP and agriculture in a way they’ve never seen before,” said Craig Walters, event director of the pumpkin fest. “It’s become a year-long process and once the event is done in November, we take a few weeks off, but then we start planning for next year’s (pumpkin fest).

Ana Salgado | The Poly Post

This year, the organizers welcomed a new attraction for their visitors. CPP Apparel Merchandising and Management students created “PumpkinLand,” a colorful area with various decorated pumpkins. The sunflower maze has also been expanded and a petting farm has also been added to the list of attractions this season.

For students away from home, this event has brought a sense of community with visitors from all over Los Angeles.

“This (event) is cool. It kind of reminds me of home,” said chemical engineering student Jeffrey Naydin. “It’s kind of nostalgic to come here and experience this . . .”

One of the most popular attractions at the festival is the petting farm. The newest addition to the petting farm is Oreo, the sheep. He was born during the pandemic and is now out greeting people daily while the event is going on.

“It’s the first time at the patch my brother goes to CPP, so we come with the family and kids so they can have fun. The hayrides, touching the animals and the pumpkins are her favorite,” said first-time visitor Perla Ortiz, mentioning her daughter’s favorite attractions at the Pumpkin Festival.

Guests can wander throughout the festival, learning about farming and technology-related careers for those interested in pursuing this path at CPP. They can also purchase an activity wristband for $14 that allows access to most attractions at the event.

The festival is held at CPP’s AGRIscapes until Oct. 30. The festival is open on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, check out the pumpkin fest website

Feature image courtesy of Ana Salgado

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