LATHROP - Dell’Osso Farms’ Pumpkin Maze is more than just an October tradition and the largest agri-tourist attraction in California.
It also provides 300 part-time jobs with a payroll of $150,000 each year. That is in addition to more than $600,000 paid to area non-profits for helping assist with various attractions.
“A number of our employees will stay on with us through December for Holidays on the Farm,” noted Susan Dell’Osso.
The Pumpkin Maze opens Saturday for its 14th year and runs through Oct. 31. It attracted a record 140,000 visitors in 2009. A wet October that included rain on every weekend dropped that number down to 110,000 last year. An additional 25,000 visited Dell’Osso Farms from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day for Holidays on the Farm. Many of the guests were from the Bay Area and the Sacramento region.
New this year is the Cowboy Theatre featuring Derek Sanders and Clyde Score that will stage multiple daily performances of “The Wild West Show” Also added is the Mystery Tour Ride and Walk the Plank that has been added to the aerial ropes course.
That is in addition to the haunted house, corn maze, zip lines, Dell’Osso Express train, pumpkin blasters, gem mining, jump pillows, spinning pumpkins, kiddie land, pony rides, petting zoo, tram, country store, scarecrow ride plus a number of other tractions including a number that are free.
Arguably the most poplar - and most unique - among the repertoire of low-tech family fun are the pumpkin blasters that use bazooka-style devices to hurl mini-pumpkins at speeds approaching 120 mph toward various targets.
Based on information gleaned by a national organization of ag tourism businesses Dell’Osso Farms is ranked No. 3 in the nation and tops in California for attendance.