La Verne’s 23rd annual Heritage Foundation Pumpkin Patch has returned to Heritage Park to bring Halloween spirit to residents and their families.
With Oct. 5 marking the first day of the yearly event, the pumpkin patch continues to follow old traditions with hayrides, pumpkin picking and school field trips.
“It’s like a country setting to me,” La Verne resident Patricia Butcher said.
“It’s like a little piece of the country in the city so that’s why I like it so much. It just feels like country home,” she said.
White and orange pumpkins of different shapes and sizes immediately greet visitors upon their entrance to the Weber House, which is located on the park’s 1.5 acre property.
Handmade scarecrows align the trail that leads guests to the Pumpkin Patch while a tractor roams through the orange grove offering guests hayrides for $2 and pumpkins ranging from $3 to $60.
“I didn’t grow up in the country, but I’ve just always wanted to live in the country,” Butcher said. “All the orange trees and how serene the house is just looks so beautiful. I just love it.”
Having visited the pumpkin patch for the last 15 years, Butcher enjoys taking her 5-year-old triplets to visit now.
Following old customs, the Pumpkin Patch has a new feature to offer visitors.
Their newest addition for this year is a petting zoo. Folks and their children can go inside an animal pen that has a four-month old calf, sheep, piglets, a bunny and a guinea pig.
“We’ve always had animals here but now kids can actually go in and pet them,” volunteer Michael Kress said. “We’ve been thinking about adding a petting zoo for several years and just finally we got a cage and most of the animals came from Mt. SAC.”
“My favorite part of all this is the petting zoo,” volunteer Sabrina Karim said.
“I know it’s a little smelly in there but the animals are really friendly so it’s kind of cool. The fluffy sheep is my favorite animal,” she said.
The Pumpkin Patch provides volunteers the opportunity to give their time to contribute to the autumn tradition.
“I used to work for the city, so they had me come here all the time so I got to know the people and I’ve been here ever since,” said Kress, who has been volunteering at the Pumpkin Patch for eight years.
“I just knew all the people, and they’re great people, so I stayed involved,” she said.
“It’s nice to be in a program that’s run by people from La Verne,” Karim said. “It’s been really fun, and I’ve gotten to meet a lot of cool people. It’s very homey, so I’ll be volunteering again next year.”
Heritage Park and the Weber House are located at 5001 Via De Mansion in La Verne.
The Pumpkin Patch is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends until Oct. 30.
All proceeds go to benefit the La Verne Heritage Foundation.
Karla Rendon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.