By CHEYENNE THOMAS & KELCIE HARTLEY
The Pumpkin Festival kicked off this year’s AGRIscapes PumpkinFest this past weekend with two days of fair fun.
Southern California’s largest pumpkin patch, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, brought 60,000 pumpkins to Cal Poly Pomona for guests to purchase. CPP grew 40,000 of them.
The festival saw an estimated 20,000 guests on Saturday, the opening day, according to Craig Walters, director of AGRIscapes.
The L.A. Times reported a grand total of 120,000 guests attended the festival last year.
The festival had many educational attractions in the Agricultural Discovery Lane, including a display of antique farming equipment, a small reptile zoo, insect fair and a gardening display. These attractions were only open for the festival weekend.
Madi Houston of Chino Hills particularly enjoyed the insect fair.
“Being able to hold the bugs was really great,” Houston said. “There were all kinds of bugs. Big bugs, little bugs, alive bugs, dead bugs. You could even buy live bugs. I didn’t know they would do that. If you want to buy bugs, go here.”
The insect fair at AGRIscapes was also only open the festival weekend and will not be present during the run of the pumpkin patch.
Guests had the option to purchase a hat for $10 at the reptile zoo and get two free pictures with any reptile of their choosing.
Large crowds were most eager to see the variety of snakes and lizards that were on display.
One of the most popular attractions for children and adults alike was the petting zoo.
A pen of sheep, goats, rabbits and a dairy calf were anxiously awaiting attention. The public filled the pen with enough affection and food to last the animals for days.
During the opening weekend, the famous 1,700-pound horse, Clydesdale, was giving attendees rides and posed for photos.
Regular horse and pony rides will continue to be open on weekends only.
The hay wagon rides, the Corn Maze and the Petting Farm will remain open for the run of PumpkinFest.
The corn maze is also a game including a hunt for letters to spell a secret agriculture-related word. Children under 12 years old are required to have an adult present.
New to the PumpkinFest this year is The Night Maze. The Night Maze will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays as a thrilling race to find the way out of the twisted dark. Admission is $4 per person and is recommended for children 8 and older.
PumpkinFest is open to the public between Oct. 8-31 (except Mondays) and is free to enter. Charges for activities and pumpkins still apply. For more information, visit https://www.cpp.edu/~pumpkinfestival/index.html.
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