Ron Dell’Osso has started harvesting pumpkin blaster “ammo” as a Lathrop tradition gets ready to open for a month-long run on Saturday.
More than 200,000 small orange and white squash raised as miniature pumpkins are expected to be stuffed into the barrels of custom bazooka like pumpkin blasters in a bid to smash them against metal targets during the 32-day run of the 21st annual Dell’Osso Family Farm Pumpkin Maze.
The low tech, outdoor event that features everything from a massive corn maze, zip lines, haunted house and giant human-master style pumpkin ball races to a pumpkin patch opens Saturday, Sept. 30, and runs through Tuesday, Oct. 31. The farm at Manthey Road off Interstate 5 between the 120 Bypass and Interstate 205 interchanges opens daily at 10 a.m. with the last entry at 8 p.m. Attractions start closing at 9 p.m.
Opening weekend is arguably the best time to visit as crowds are small, the forecast calls for near perfect weather, and the corn maze is fresh.
It’s the only weekend where there are virtually no lines for the wildly popular pumpkin blasters, one of the few attractions not included in the general admission price. A bucket of “ammo” — about a dozen in all — costs $6.
The big attraction for the opening Saturday for pumpkin blaster die-hards is the fact the targets — that typically includes vehicles — are mostly without dents and have glass intact. The weapons of “smash” destruction have been clocked at up to 120 mph coming out of the blasters as they sail toward targets.
“It’s amazing how it (the pumpkin maze) has become a low-tech tradition for families,” Susan Dell’Osso said. “We get people who came here as kids who are now bringing their kids back year after year.”
General admission includes unlimited access to the corn maze, haunted castle, the scarecrow ride with an international theme this year, Dell’Osso Express Train, hay ride, mystery tour, giant pumpkin ball races, tire pyramid, Dell’Osso Speedway pedal cars, petting zoo, ball shoot arena, lawn games, walking the plank, super slide, kiddie play land, kiddie Ferris wheel, kiddie coaster, kiddie swings, spinning pumpkins, pillow jumping, and children’s interactive critter.
The general admission also includes two new features — an entertainment stage aimed at delighting kids and pig races.
The attractions that have separate prices is the gem mining for $6, pumpkin blasters for $6, zip lines for $8 to $12, pony rides for $6, and pumpkin painting for $5. Food, merchandise, pumpkins and seasonal gifts are available for purchase and not included in the general admission. parking is free.
General admission tickets are $13.95 per person Monday through Thursday and $17.95 per person Friday through Sunday. Early bird entry before 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday is $10.95 per person. Children 2 years old and under are free. All tickets are sold only on the premises.
Dell’Osso Farms is again hosting a pre-event dubbed Special Day at the Farm on Friday morning in conjunction with the Stockton Kiwanis Club. About 2,000 special needs kids from throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley will be treated to the free event.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com