'It's the Great Pumpkin Farm, Charlie Brown!'
Clarence's Great Pumpkin Farm celebrates the fourth week of its fall festival
The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence celebrates its annual fall festival filled with wholesome family fun. The festival featured fall-themed events, ranging from a haunted house to a tractor-drawn hayride.
The festival, which runs until Oct. 31, is free during weekdays and costs $8 on the weekends.
On Sept. 30, the farm began its search for a world record-breaking pumpkin weight. It offered a $10,000 prize for whoever can provide a winning pumpkin. The previous year’s winner provided a pumpkin weighing 1,971.5 pounds, breaking the New York State record. The winner only received $2,500 because the pumpkin did not break the world record.
If a three-ton pumpkin can’t be found, the farm also provides reasonably sized pumpkins for purchase. It doesn’t have a pumpkin patch that patrons can pick from, but offers countless rows of pre-picked gourds ready to bring home.
For regularly sized, decorative pumpkins, the price is $.45 per pound. The farm also sells pie pumpkins, white pumpkins, assorted gourds, corn stalks, hay bales, Indian corn and mums.
The farm features an abundance of Instagram-worthy spots. The farm has a small house built entirely out of pumpkins. It also has a pyramid made of pumpkins that can be seen from miles down the road. Patrons can also hunt down the pumpkin mascot that roams the farm for a photo.
“Everybody needs the classic ‘standing in front of pumpkins’ fall picture,” said Belinda Thongsavanh, a sophomore pre-law student. “You get a lot for the admission price and they have a lot of food options.”
Multiple vendors line the food grove, where patrons can buy classic festival snacks. These vendors, only available during the weekends, provide the overpriced, ridiculously deep fried food people know and love –– from blooming onions to fried oreos, there’s something for everyone.
Staying on brand with the Halloween theme, the festival also resurrects The Pumpkin Palace Bakery and The Witches Brew Bar and Cafe. Patrons can buy craft and domestic beer, as well as specialty Halloween drinks. The bakery has fresh apple and pumpkin pies, and classic apple cider and doughnuts.
Along with an abundance of food, the festival offers a variety of entertainment within its weekend admission. The $8 admission provides a free hayride, a free magic show, a free chicken show, free face painting and a variety of free contests. The farm also has a free petting zoo with barn animals. Corn feed is available and draws the animals right up to their gates.
For a small ticket fee, patrons can enjoy the festivals many rides and activities. Zombies or dinosaurs can be found within the corn maze during their respective weekends. Tickets are available for the zombie paintball train, the cow train, the mechanical bull, the boo barn and a multitude of amusement park rides. There is also a midway within the farm where small prizes can be won.
Camille Clawson, a senior exercise science major, enjoyed the atmosphere of the festival after studying all week.
“I really want to get my money's worth with the admission price and I think I did,” Clawson said. “It’s too cold now to do any of the rides but my roommate dragged me out to this, and I’m glad. If rent wasn’t due next week, I’d probably spend all my money here.”
Attendees can easily spend money across the farm, but Halloween fans flock to its Halloween general store. The store provides hundreds of handcrafted Halloween decorations. It has both indoor and outdoor decorations –– from painted pumpkins to spooky signs.
Although a lot of the festival panders to families, there are many options for adults. Between the speciality Halloween drinks and the Halloween general store, The Great Pumpkin Farm is a wholesome experience for everyone.
Katy Toth, an organizer for the festival, feels the weather and the festival have been going well so far.
“We want everyone to enjoy the fall with their families,” Toth said about the festival attendence. “We have a lot of events that are geared toward kids, but adults as well. We get a lot of groups of students. They love the corn maze and different events geared toward their age.”