After spending more than three years in the Midwest, Centre County native Stephanie Bricker has an even bigger appreciation for Pennsylvania fall festivals.
Bricker took her 2-year-old son, Connor, to the Wasson Farm Fall Fest on Sunday to give him a taste of the autumn air and allow him to run around a pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin.
She just followed behind him with a smile on her face.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” she said. “The best feeling is being a mom and getting to watch your child explore all these things.”
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More than a thousand people rolled through the Wasson Farm on Shingletown Road for the two-day festival that has been a tradition for about 10 years, Candy Wasson said.
Pumpkins overflowed from boxes outside the house, and tractors were on hand to provide hayrides up to the pumpkin patch for people looking to search for their own. Attendees also were able to enjoy a corn maze and some food.
The idea for the event came up about a decade ago when the family got tired of picking all the pumpkins and decided it might be fun for locals to have a run of the patch.
It has been a local staple ever since.
Wasson was worried that outside factors would hurt the attendance this year, but she said she was pleasantly surprised to see it match or eclipse the norm for previous years.
“We were a little concerned because of the weather and the homecoming football game, but it has just been steady,” she said.
She added that this has been a strong year for the number of pumpkins grown and number of early sales. The family will continue to to give hayrides to the pumpkin patch for schools and local groups until the end of the month.
Mary Imler was happy to see her 2-year-old son, Ethan Dull, get his first chance to search for pumpkins and experience the festival.
She said that this is one of her favorite times of the year, and she’s excited to share the experience with her son.
“It’s fun still to see how excited they get, and they’re loving every minute of it,” she said.
This year’s festival also highlighted local causes, raising awareness for fire safety and breast cancer. A fire truck from Boalsburg was parked near the house with a firefighter talking to people about fire safety and allowing kids to climb into the truck.
There was also a large cement truck with a pink breast cancer ribbon visible to all.
Wasson said the weekend is fun for the family, but that it’s still business as usual on the farm.
Festival or no festival, they have to wake up at 4 a.m. to milk the cows and get back in the barn at 4:30 p.m. to milk them again.