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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Marana Pumpkin Patch continues to grow

    A+young+girl+holds+tight+to+a+premature+pnumpkin+at+the+Marana+Pumpkin+Patch+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+8.
    Selena Quintanilla
    A young girl holds tight to a premature pnumpkin at the Marana Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, Oct. 8.

    Six years into the Marana Pumpkin Patch and Farm Festival, the excitement grows almost as quickly as the corn. Since its opening, the festival’s size and attractions have grown significantly.

    “I started this in 2011 after visiting some other pumpkin patches, and I just thought, you know, I could do this,” said Jon Post, owner of Post Farms and the Marana Pumpkin Patch and Farm Festival. “I already have a farm, so I knew I could grow the pumpkins, and I wanted to offer more entertainment than just going out and picking pumpkins.”

    The festival has a long list of attractions this year, including train rides, cart and wagon rides, pig races, rubber duck races, a petting zoo, pumpkin cannons, jumping pillows and a large straw mountain.

    RELATED: Pumpkin Patch Palooza: Top local pumpkin patches to check out this season

    There are two huge corn mazes—one is shaped like a tractor with the words “Post Farms” carved into the path, and the other features Linus from the “Peanuts” cartoon with a sign that reads “Welcome Great Pumpkin.”

    “Last year, parking was a huge nightmare because we ran out,” Post said. “So I made the parking lot quite a bit bigger, that’s one of the biggest things, for me anyway.”

    Post grows Bermuda grass in the parking field during the part of the year that he doesn’t use it for parking.

    “A lot of things have gotten bigger,” said Diane Vennard, an employee at the pumpkin patch. “The face painting is all new, I don’t think they had pony rides last year. It just keeps growing, every time I come, there’s something new.”

    Vennard enjoys the fresh air and family atmosphere of the festival. She works at the patch alongside her son-in-law, who drives one of the train rides and her daughter, who works at the ticket booth.

    The festival provides employment for many people during the month of October.

    Kelton Brice is working his second year at the pumpkin patch.

    “I just like the atmosphere, everyone is pretty friendly and it’s kind of like a big family,” Brice said.

    The festival offers special discounts for children under 32 inches, with free admittance and for field trips. Oct. 5 was Special Needs Day, which included free admittance for special needs classes.

    RELATED: Despite national pumpkin shortages, Arizona farmers keep Halloween cheap

    “It’s all about fall festival,” Post said. None of the events are oriented around the Halloween holiday, though—Post said he wanted to give attendees the classic hometown pumpkin patch feel.

    “We have a lot of transplants in Tucson from other areas,” Post said, “They just don’t have that good fall feeling, and so that’s what I want to try to offer.”

    Marco Arredondo is a middle school teacher who brought his wife and kids out for their first visit.

    “We haven’t been here before, but we’ve heard great things,” Arredondo said. “The first thing that the kids saw was this bouncy thing, so that’s the first thing that we went to. Now we’ve got to move on because we’ve only got until 7 p.m.”

    The Marana Pumpkin Patch and Farm Festival is open from Oct. 1 to Oct. 30, Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Over 50 acres of homegrown pumpkins are available for picking at $0.50 per pound.

    “This year will be our first year that we are going to do a Christmas event,” Post said. “We’ll have a light display on about 2,500 feet of the 4,500 feet of train track that we have.”

    This Christmas extravaganza will be lit from Dec. 9 to Dec. 23, and will include festive decorations and live Christmas music.

    Tickets for Christmas on the Farm are limited and only available for $10 per person during the Marana Pumpkin Patch and Farm Festival.


    Follow Isaac Andrews on Twitter.


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