Pumpkin patches, cute animals and good food are what many families and Cal Poly Pomona students were able to enjoy at the Pumpkin Festival this past weekend.

AGRIscapes held its 26th annual Pumpkin Festival Oct. 6 and 7, throughout the AGRIscapes Agriculture Outreach Center.

There were more than 60,000 pumpkins that filled the pumpkin patch during the festival on Saturday and Sunday.

The massive pumpkin patch makes the Pumpkin Festival a popular attraction for families. (Ashley Rowles | The Poly Post)

Since there are so many pumpkins to be harvested, the AGRIscapes farm brings in a large number of their pumpkins from a farm in Chino.

Visitors were able to engage in numerous activities at the festival, such as contests for children and adults, corn mazes, demonstrations, shows and many more activities.

One popular activity at the festival included the Insect Fair where people experienced an educational interactive insect zoo with live bugs such as beetles, spiders, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and other live insects.

The Insect Fair required a separate entrance fee of $3 for adults, $2 for Cal Poly Pomona students and children ages 2 to 12, and free for kids under two.

Families got to learn about beekeeping from beekeepers with more than 40 years of experience in the field.

“We have a costume contest that is mostly for children and they will be divided up into different age groups,” said Dan Lee, the communications specialist of the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture.

The festival’s newer events included cow milking demonstrations and a carving show, where a professional carver carves wood into different sculptures.

The petting zoo is one of the Pumpkin Festival’s most popular attractions. (Ashley Rowles | The Poly Post)

In addition to the newer events, there were the traditional events like the pumpkin seed spitting contest where contestants compete to see who can spit seeds the farthest and the most popular one, the pie eating contest.

Children had their own miniature corn maze as well as another pumpkin patch that contains smaller pumpkins.

“For the winners of the contests we give them trophies and sometime the vendors at the festivals will give them gift certificates,” said Craig Walters, the AGRIscapes director.

To add more fun to the festival experience, the Bronco Pep Band performed along with other musical acts that played bluegrass and country music.

“I just love seeing how kids get excited with simple things like playing chess with mini-pumpkins instead of chess pieces,” Walters said.

Over 20 student clubs from the College of Agriculture were involved in the pumpkin festival this year.

Those clubs sold pies, pumpkin bread and had many games for festival goers to play.

“Last year the clubs earned approximately $70,000 from the club’s booth activities,” Walters said. “It is a huge fundraiser for them and they get a chance to talk to different people and be fully engaged.”

People will be able to stop by and pick up pumpkins from the patch throughout the month of October.

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