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People mover down on the farm

Snow tubing going high tech at Dell’Osso Farms

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People mover down on the farm

A boy is tubing on a similar snow hill using manufactured snow in Atlanta.

Photo contributed/


POSTED September 17, 2009 2:20 a.m.
LATHROP — San Francisco International Airport has them. The Stockton Metro Airport doesn’t. However, Dell’Osso Farms will soon have one.

The “them” are the conveyor belt-style people movers.

Dell’Osso Farms is installing a 300-foot moving sidewalk to get snow tubers up to the top of Mt. Dell’Osso. It is the latest Tom Sawyer-type adventure envisioned by pumpkin grower Ron Dell’Osso.

Mt. Dell’Osso is the centerpiece for the latest Dell’Osso Farm venture – Holidays on the Farm – that starts in mid-November. The snow hill that will be groomed with manufactured snow generated around the clock is targeted for operation through March. Workers this week are addressing drainage on the 30-foot high hill that has 200-foot drop coupled with a 100-foot run.

It will include a roof so rain won’t disrupt the fun of riding inner tubes down the slope. The people mover will allow ticketholders to get in at least six runs an hour or nine for the $15 ticket that covers 90 minutes. A maximum of 300 people will be allowed on Mt. Dell’Osso in any given 90-minute session.

There are not that many farmers who’d spend $100,000 to install a people mover in the middle of their field but then again Dell’Osso isn’t your typical farmer.

The pumpkin maze – which now attracts 120,000 visitors every October – is one of the top agri-tourist destinations in California. It is arguably the most unusual as it has the only 16 pumpkin blasters in the world. They are bazooka-like devices that send mini-pumpkins hurling through the air at 90 mph toward quarter-inch steel targets that have to be junked each year because the pumpkins splattering against them riddle the steel with dents.

The snow hill won’t be open for the start of the 12th annual Pumpkin Maze on Saturday, Oct. 3, that runs through the end of October.

New attractions that will be up and running, though, include a mile-long railroad line in quarter scale looping the 20-acre corn maze. It includes a tunnel ad a train station to serve an engine that is a locomotive in a replica of a steam engine that pulls four passenger cars.

A zip line will also be in place as well a “pillow” bounce pit and a country store.

Other attractions available at Holiday on the Farms include:

•A mile long Christmas lights drive complete with 500 professionally created holiday scenes.

•A Santa’s Hut complete with a couple imported from Iowa that have earned accolades for looking just like the real Santa and Mrs. Claus.

•A general store designed for the holidays complete with gifts, fresh baked goods and other items for Christmas.

The zip-line operates in both October and during the holidays and includes a mound created so people can land on it and then get in line for the corn maze.

You will be able to buy Christmas trees or make wreaths and Christmas ornaments in special tents as well as drop by the general store for hot chocolate, fudge, roasted nuts and other holiday goodies.

Future plans call for an ice rink but not your garden variety one. It will be a winding passage to give the feeling of being in the woods.

For more information go to www.pumpkinmaze.com
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