Pumpkin Patch opens this week at First United Methodist Church in Dayton

Even if you don’t have a penchant for picking pumpkins, you would be hard-pressed to not find the perfect one at First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch. Covering the lawn of the church are approximately 4,000 pumpkins of all sizes and shapes from which to pick, including specialty fairytale, snowball and mini pumpkins, and gooseneck gourds.

The price range for the pumpkins is $1 to $20, and organizers expect to sell most, if not all, of the pumpkins by Halloween. All of the money raised goes toward a good cause.

“This is a fundraiser for community outreach programs with the church. All proceeds go back to the community,” said Kelsey Conner, one of the organizers. “I live for this event every year since we started it in October 2020. It’s a perfect event for small children, adults, children with special needs and senior citizens. Now with the COVID pandemic over, we are expecting this year it will be bigger and better.”

The pumpkins arrived Sunday afternoon from a farm in New Mexico. The pumpkins filled an entire freight trailer of an 18-wheeler, but it took just two and a half hours for them to be completely unloaded and on the grounds ready for customers.

Dayton High School students did the lion’s share of the work, setting up pallets and placing the pumpkins in tidy rows. The students represented the Dayton High School National Honor Society, football team, cheerleaders, girls’ soccer team and girls’ basketball team.

There are 10 photo backdrops in the pumpkin patch that are perfect for family photos, said Conner. In years past, they have seen local photographers using the backdrops for commercial photography. While professional photographers are still welcome, Conner said they will be expected to make a generous donation to the church this year.

The pumpkin patch officially opens on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and will remain open in the days leading up to Halloween. The patch is open on Tuesday through Thursday, from 1 to 7 p.m., Friday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and closed on Mondays.

“Field trips from local schools and daycares can be arranged for earlier hours. We will make accommodations on the time and date,” said Conner. For more information, call Conner at 409-679-4946.

First United Methodist Church of Dayton is located at 106 S. Cleveland St., Dayton.

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