The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival will celebrate its 22nd year as Western New York’s favorite fall destination when it opens at 10 a.m. Sept. 16. Young and old who attend the Festival look forward to the thrill of the amusement rides, hayrides and corn maze, relish picking out their pumpkins, homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries, selecting the perfect Halloween decorations and watching special events such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cookoff – and so much more!
This year, the Great Pumpkin Farm has declared opening weekend – Sept. 16-17 – to be Armed Forces Weekend, in collaboration with WNYHeroes, Inc. The regular admission fee will be waived for military, police or fire department personnel who present proper identification to WNYHeroes representatives at the gate; they will also be permitted to bring one guest for free. The first 200 military, police or fire personnel through the gates on opening weekend will receive a “goodie bag” that will include gifts from The Great Pumpkin Farm, WNYHeroes and Festival sponsors. A special happy hour will take place at the Witches Brew (inside the Pumpkin Palace) from 2 to 5 p.m. both Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17. There will be live music and a military veteran will serve as bartender. All tips will go directly to WNYHeroes.
Throughout the seven weekends of the Fall Festival, WNYHeroes representatives will be on hand at an informational booth in the Event Center at the Great Pumpkin Farm.
In addition to Armed Forces Weekend activities, the opening weekend of the Fall Festival will include animatronic dinosaurs, Vinnie and Teddy, in the Corn maze (noon to 4 p.m. both days) and Sylvia Fletcher & Friends Ventriloquism (three shows a day, free with Festival admission). On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s Bookmobile (Library on Wheels) will be on site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with crafts for the children and story times throughout the day. Visitors can check out library materials and apply for a library card.
Fall Festival Weekend Highlights
Sept. 16-17: Armed Forces Weekend, Sylvia & Friends Comedy Ventriloquist, Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze
Sept. 22-24: Friday Night Preview Night, Oinktoberfest — New York State’s official KCBS-sanctioned BBQ Cookoff
Sept. 30 – Oct. 1: World Pumpkin Weigh Off (Sunday), Sylvia & Friends Comedy Ventriloquist
Oct. 7-9 (Columbus Day): Pumpkin Olympics, Annual KISS 98.5 Pumpkin Drop (Monday)
Oct. 14-15: Pig Races, World Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition (amateurs on Saturday, professionals on Sunday)
Oct. 21-22: Annual Trebuchet (catapult) Contest with local high school teams (practice Saturday, contest Sunday), Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze
Oct. 28-29: Costume Contest, Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze
What’s New This Year
New features added this year to the Fall Festival include:
• Old-time Shooting Gallery
• Pavilion area for parties and family gatherings
• Reconfigured corn maze
• Outdoor location for the Witches Brew Bar (across from the food grove)
Location: The Great Pumpkin Farm is located at 11199 Main St. in Clarence and features plenty of free, onsite parking.
Festival Hours: 10 a.m. to dusk, weekends beginning Sept. 16-17.
Admission: $7 per person, children two and under admitted free.
The admission fee includes the Magic Show with Mike & Annie, Cackling Hen Revue Show, petting zoo, face painting, cow train ride, tractor-drawn hayride, children and adult pie-eating contests, scarecrow-making contest, mummy-wrapping contest and kids’ craft area.
Discounted tickets can be purchased at all Buffalo & Rochester Wegmans locations. Complete event information is available at www.greatpumpkinfarm.com.