Pumpkin patch opening Monday at FUMC in Dayton

Volunteers stack pumpkins on pallets on the lawns of First United Methodist Church of Dayton on Sept. 27. The pumpkin patch opens to the community on Monday.

One of the first signs of fall in Liberty County is the pumpkin patch at First United Methodist Church of Dayton. On Sunday, 4,000 brightly-colored pumpkins arrived, and on Monday, the patch will officially open to the public.

The arrival of the pumpkins is a community effort with students from Dayton High School’s JROTC and National Honor Society and Dayton Boy Scout Troop 64 helping church members unload an 18-wheeler trailer full of pumpkins onto the church lawn.

The pumpkins are organized by color, size and variety. Traditional orange pumpkins make up the bulk of those in the pumpkin patch but there are also white pumpkins, tiny pumpkins and “fairytale pumpkins,” the latter of which is a French heirloom pumpkin that has unusual colorings and a squatty shape resembling Cinderella’s coach. Prices range from $1 to $20, depending on the color, variety and size.

Volunteers with First United Methodist Church of Dayton use teamwork to unload a bin of pumpkins at the church’s pumpkin patch on Sunday.

While picking a pumpkin, families are also welcome to gather for photos using one of five fall-inspired backgrounds that accompany the pumpkin patch. Guests should bring their own cameras or use their cell phones to take photos.

Picnics and field trips are also welcome, according to Kelsey Conner, one of the organizers of the pumpkin patch. Money raised by pumpkin sales goes to FUMC’s Friends in Deed Program.

Friends in Deed supports various outreach ministries to benefit the community, including support for under-resourced students.

Hours for the pumpkin patch are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

To organize a field trip or picnic, or for other questions, email kelseyconner.realtor@gmail.com.

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