There are pumpkin rolls then there is the Manteca pumpkin roll.
As many as three dozen semi-trucks a day are now rolling out of Manteca to destinations throughout California to deliver over 55,000 tons of pumpkins being harvested from 3,000 plus acres around Manteca.
And to celebrate the harvest — the biggest ornamental pumpkin haul in the United States — two festivals built around the popular squash kick–off Saturday. The two events are expected to attracted a combined 200,000 people during their run.
The 32nd annual Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair starts its two-day run while the Dell Osso’ Family Farms Pumpkin Maze begins its October run in Lathrop along Interstate 80 north of the San Joaquin River. Both events start at 10 a.m.
The Pumpkin Fair Carnival operated by the California Carnival Company at the JC Penney parking lot in The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley at the 120 Bypass and Union Road opens Thursday, Sept. 29, from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday hours are 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Advance coupon books for $20 (cash only) can be bought through 5 p.m. Wednesday and exchanged for an all-day ride wrist band at the carnival. Ticket books are available at Give Every Child a Chance, Roadrunner Glass, J&J Printing, and Golden Valley Federal Credit Union.
The free downtown Pumpkin Fair will run Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is centered around Library Park. Family fun includes two entertainment stages, children’s activities, a car show on Sunday, over 150 vendors, haunted house, pumpkin events and more
The Sunrise Kiwanis have added a new twist this year dubbed “Pumpkin Fair after Dark.” It features the presentation of the 1959 movie classic “House on Haunted Hill.” The movie stars Vincent Price. It involves a millionaire offering $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, haunted house overnight with him and his wife.
It will be shown at the Pumpkin Fair Beer Garden from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. Beer, water, soda, and popcorn will be available for purchase. Beer sales will end at 8 p.m.
Paying homage to pumpkins with the 20th annual Pumpkin Maze is Ron and Susan Dell’Osso.
This will mark the first year that all attractions — save for five — will be collapsed into the price of one general admission ticket.
In making the switch, Dell’Osso Farms will also go to demand pricing for the combined ticket for 18 of their 23 attractions.
High traffic times Friday through Sunday will be $17.95 per person while the price drops to $13.95 Monday through Thursday. There is an early bird special Monday through Friday for $10 that’s available from 10 a.m.
The move eliminates free access to the grounds. To simply access the grounds and stroll around with others is $5.
Excluded from the general admission tickets are gem mining, pumpkin blasters, zip lines, and pony rides that will all cost $6 apiece to access. Pumpkin painting is $5. Tickets will be sold at the specific attractions. There are separate charges for food, drinks, and general store items.
Based on the ammo consumed during the past 14 years, the number of mini-pumpkins sent sailing at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour as they are fired from bazooka-like pumpkin blasters toward various targets should surpass 5 million this year.
For more information go to www.pumpkinmaze.com.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org