Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

By Kirk Hemans

Pumpkins and family fun were atop the countless reasons why
thousands of people attended the 18th Annual Pumpkin Festival.

The pumpkin festival featured a massive field of pumpkins for
people to choose from, a petting zoo where children could get up
close with farm animals, a corn maze made from tall corn stalks
that families could walk through and a variety of different booths
offering food, games, face painting and harvest themed
novelties.

The festival, hosted by Cal Poly’s Colleges of Agriculture and
Plant Science, was held at the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch.

It celebrated the pumpkin and its versatility by providing many
opportunities for its guests to experience the pumpkin in a variety
of different ways: the traditional pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread,
and the not-so-traditional pumpkin flavored ice cream and soda.

The pumpkin patch, however, was the main draw to the
festival.

“It’s a fabulous pumpkin patch,” said Jennifer Partain, who
attended the event with her children.

She had two carts filled with pumpkins the size of beach balls.

“Everyone should come here,” she said.

The wide selection of pumpkins, which all cost $5, impressed
many of the festival attendees, many of whom left with numerous
pumpkins, big and small.

The reasonable prices and fun that comes from picking your own
pumpkin drew many people to this festival.

“We come to get our pumpkins here every year,” said Diana
Dontoyo, a Walnut resident who attended the festival with her
children. “We like the pumpkin patch experience. The kids do,
too. They love it.”

The Dontoyos are just one of the countless families who have
made this festival a family tradition of their own.

Pumpkins are grown on a ranch in the city of Chino and then
transferred to Pomona a week before the festival.

The festival also functions as one of the main fundraisers for
the numerous clubs in the College of Agriculture and Plant
Sciences.

“The booths are all run by student clubs in the College of
Agriculture,” said Courtney Habegger, second-year plant science
student who managed the pumpkin patch. “There are high schools that
are coming to help us out. So it’s really kind of a community
thing.”

The proceeds are also shared with the local Future Farmers of
America high school clubs that participate in the festival.

“The kids sign up to volunteer, and believe me, the kids want to
sign up,” said Robin Lindley, an FFA parent volunteer. “[The kids
are] anxious because they love doing it, because they get to help
out.”

The Corn Maze, a new pumpkin festival attraction, is a maze that
people can go through that has been cut out of a tall and massive
cornfield.

“Everybody loves it,” said Diana Snyder, a Farm Store employee.
“Everyone is really excited, and the price is just right. They
love going in there.”

Though the pumpkin festival is over, the pumpkin patch will be
open next weekend and the Corn Maze will be open until Halloween.

Dawn Taccon, who manages the Farm store and pumpkin festival,
suggests getting to the patch the day before is starts.

“I really like the pumpkin patch the night before the event
because it’s beautiful,” said Taccone. “It’s just a sea of orange
and then Saturday happens, and it’s gone.”

For more information, contact the Farm Store at (909)
869-4906.

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

Daneil Nguyen / The Poly Post

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

Daniel Nguyen / The Poly Post

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

Daniel Nguyen / The Poly Post

Picking the best at the pumpkin fest

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