HARLINGEN — They come in every shade of orange you can imagine — all 45,000 pounds of them.
These pumpkins are just waiting to be picked up by visitors at the First United Methodist Church, at 321 E Harrison Ave.
With the arrival of a cold front this past weekend, the opening of the longtime pumpkin patch tied in perfectly.
“I think we need to start serving pumpkin spice lattes,” Lisa McCallum, volunteer coordinator, said.
According to McCallum, attending the pumpkin patch has become a significant family tradition for many residents.
“We see so many people every weekend coming in and out. People do photo shoots with their babies; we have groups of schools doing day trips. But many of our visitors are people that grew up coming here and are now bringing their kids,” McCallum said.
The pumpkin patch has opened its doors for everyone to enjoy for a period of 14 years now. Besides having photo opportunities for guests, the chapel opens in the afternoon where children are read stories and play games.
McCallum said the pumpkin patch is usually packed weekends, and on Halloween people can barely walk through it. It has been so successful it continues to be a pre-holiday activity for many people.
“I think the main reason people like it so much is because of the pumpkins themselves. It reminds people of fall and it looks beautiful out here,” she said.
Entrance is free for anyone who wants to visit and pumpkins are up for sale. They range from teeny tiny ones for a dollar to big, carving material $30 ones.
Proceeds from the pumpkin patch go toward the church’s backpacks for kids ministry.
The church packs the backpacks with snack items for 25 students in seven Harlingen schools who might not have something to eat during the weekend.
“I think that is a tradition that will continue. Everyone enjoys it and I don’t foresee it stopping,” McCallum said.
If You Go
Free entrance for everyone
Pumpkins range from $1 to $30
• Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.