It’s the Annual World Pumpkin Weigh-off at the Great Pumpkin Farm This Weekend!

It’s the Annual World Pumpkin Weigh-off at the Great Pumpkin Farm This Weekend!

Food Network’s 2018 Chopped: “Grill Masters” Tournament Champion Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson to make special appearance.

Loosely translated, “Viva La Barbacoa!” means “Long Live Barbecue!” – and that’s the theme for the annual KSBC-sanctioned Oinktoberfest, being held this weekend – September 21-23 – as part of the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Oinktoberfest is New York State’s official and longest running BBQ cook-off event. Teams from all over the east coast and Canada are scheduled to compete.

The tradition of Mexican barbacoa is slow roasting various meats in a brick-lined fire pit in the ground. Often the meats are wrapped in plant leaves, such as banana or agave, to help keep the meat moist. There are regional variations across Mexico using different meats, seasonings and sauces, but the principal is the same. Low and slow cooking with a wood fire is as traditional as it gets for real BBQ, and with the resurgence of Mexican food throughout the country, it only seems appropriate to celebrate this style of BBQ at this popular cookoff event.

Meet and Greet with Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson

Guests at this weekend’s Fall Festival will have the opportunity to meet Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson, who was recently crowned champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped: Grill Masters” Tournament. Chef Boots was able to showcase his culinary background and blend his knowledge of Barbecue into a winning formula as he was able to one-by-one dethrone champions from North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City.

Chef Boots is gearing up for the launch of his Red Cup BBQ Sauce collection as well as the release of his up-and-coming book, “Dad’s Day Off.”  In addition to Chopped: Grill Masters, Chef Boots has made appearances on competition series such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Man vs Child and Late Night Chef Fight. He will be at the Fall Festival all three days this weekend.

Here are the highlights of this weekend’s Fall Festival:

Friday, September 21 – PREVIEW NIGHT

  • Gates open at 5:00 p.m.; there is NO admission charge, as the Fall Festival will not be open Friday Night.
  • Guests can enjoy finger-lickin’ delicious BBQ from the participating contestants (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • The Witches Brew Bar & Café will offer great food, beer, wine and Halloween drinks.
  • Buffalo’s own Miller and Other Sinners will provide a southern soul backdrop of great music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the main stage.
  • Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters and sample some of his famous sauces from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22 – KCBS-sanctioned competition

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • The BBQ competition begins at noon. Team entries will be judged and scored according to KCBS guidelines and rules. Food categories will include chicken, pork ribs, pork butt/shoulder and beef brisket. The scores of these four categories determine the Grand Champion. (Visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a full list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

Sunday, September 23 – Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • There will be more delicious eats with the Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; hayrides; five-acre cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

It’s Viva La Barbacoa! This Weekend at The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival’s Oinktoberfest.

It’s Viva La Barbacoa! This Weekend at The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival’s Oinktoberfest.

Food Network’s 2018 Chopped: “Grill Masters” Tournament Champion Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson to make special appearance.

Loosely translated, “Viva La Barbacoa!” means “Long Live Barbecue!” – and that’s the theme for the annual KSBC-sanctioned Oinktoberfest, being held this weekend – September 21-23 – as part of the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Oinktoberfest is New York State’s official and longest running BBQ cook-off event. Teams from all over the east coast and Canada are scheduled to compete.

The tradition of Mexican barbacoa is slow roasting various meats in a brick-lined fire pit in the ground. Often the meats are wrapped in plant leaves, such as banana or agave, to help keep the meat moist. There are regional variations across Mexico using different meats, seasonings and sauces, but the principal is the same. Low and slow cooking with a wood fire is as traditional as it gets for real BBQ, and with the resurgence of Mexican food throughout the country, it only seems appropriate to celebrate this style of BBQ at this popular cookoff event.

Meet and Greet with Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson

Guests at this weekend’s Fall Festival will have the opportunity to meet Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson, who was recently crowned champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped: Grill Masters” Tournament. Chef Boots was able to showcase his culinary background and blend his knowledge of Barbecue into a winning formula as he was able to one-by-one dethrone champions from North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City.

Chef Boots is gearing up for the launch of his Red Cup BBQ Sauce collection as well as the release of his up-and-coming book, “Dad’s Day Off.”  In addition to Chopped: Grill Masters, Chef Boots has made appearances on competition series such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Man vs Child and Late Night Chef Fight. He will be at the Fall Festival all three days this weekend.

Here are the highlights of this weekend’s Fall Festival:

Friday, September 21 – PREVIEW NIGHT

  • Gates open at 5:00 p.m.; there is NO admission charge, as the Fall Festival will not be open Friday Night.
  • Guests can enjoy finger-lickin’ delicious BBQ from the participating contestants (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • The Witches Brew Bar & Café will offer great food, beer, wine and Halloween drinks.
  • Buffalo’s own Miller and Other Sinners will provide a southern soul backdrop of great music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the main stage.
  • Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters and sample some of his famous sauces from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22 – KCBS-sanctioned competition

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • The BBQ competition begins at noon. Team entries will be judged and scored according to KCBS guidelines and rules. Food categories will include chicken, pork ribs, pork butt/shoulder and beef brisket. The scores of these four categories determine the Grand Champion. (Visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a full list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

Sunday, September 23 – Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off

  • Gates open at 10:00 a.m.; regular admission price applies.
  • There will be more delicious eats with the Backyard BBQ & Rib Oink-Off (visit https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/event/oinktoberfest-bbq-cookoff/ for a list of participating teams)
  • Awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.
  • A full line up of bands on the main stage from 11:00 a.m. to dusk
  • Meet and Greet with Food Network’s Melvin “Chef Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters from noon -6:00 p.m.
  • Magic by Mike & Annie, a magic experience full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue). Free with Festival admission.

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; hayrides; five-acre cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

Special Discounts for Military, Police and Fire Personnel This Weekend As The Great Pumpkin Farm Kicks Off Its 23rd Annual Fall Festival

WNY Heroes and Mercy Flight to Participate in Armed Forces Weekend.

The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence, NY will kick off its 23rd annual Fall Festival this weekend: Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 10:00 a.m. to dusk with a special Armed Forces Weekend in collaboration with WNYHeroes, Inc. The regular admission fee will be waived for active duty and retired military, police or fire department personnel who present proper identification to WNY Heroes representatives at the gate; they will also be permitted to bring one guest for free.

MercyFlight, which provides emergency medical care via air and ground transportation, will be here with Beulah, the organization’s educational BO-105 helicopter. Festivalgoers can enjoy taking photos near Beulah and learn more about Mercy Flight’s lifesaving, non-profit mission (and maybe win a prize or two!) at the Mercy Flight booth.

As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; hayrides; cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

The 23rd Annual Fall Festival at the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence Kicks off with Armed Forces Weekend.

Military, police and fire personnel to be feted September 15-16

The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival will celebrate its 23rd year as Western New York’s favorite fall destination when it opens on September 15 at 10:00 a.m. For seven consecutive weekends, the Fall Festival offers something for every age, including amusement rides; hayrides; cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

This year, the Great Pumpkin Farm has once again declared opening weekend – September 15 and 16 – to be Armed Forces Weekend, in collaboration with WNYHeroes, Inc. The regular admission fee will be waived for active duty and retired 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. 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.

MercyFlight, which provides emergency medical care via air and ground transportation, will be here with Beulah, the organization’s educational BO-105 helicopter. Festivalgoers can enjoy taking photos near Beulah and learn more about Mercy Flight’s lifesaving, non-profit mission (and maybe win a prize or two!) at the Mercy Flight booth.

Additional entertainment for opening weekend includes Sylvia Fletcher & Friends Ventriloquism, Vinnie and Teddy, the ever-popular animatronic dinosaurs, who will roam the cornmaze both days from noon until 4:00 p.m. looking for their prey, and the magic experience of Mike & Annie.


FALL FESTIVAL WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS:

WEEKEND #1: September 15 & 16 – Armed Forces Weekend with WNY Heroes and Mercy Flight; Sylvia & Friends Comedy Ventriloquist; Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze; Magic by Mike & Annie

WEEKEND #2: September 21-23 – Friday Night BBQ Preview Night; Oinktoberfest, New York State’s official KCBS-sanctioned BBQ Cookoff ; Zombies in the Cornmaze; Magic by Mike & Annie; Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Bookmobile NEW!  Guests can enjoy a meet and greet Saturday and Sunday with Food Network Chef Melvin “Boots” Johnson from Chopped: Grill Masters

WEEKEND #3: September 29-30 – World Pumpkin Weigh Off (Sunday); Sylvia & The Magic Trunk Comedy Ventriloquist; Zombies in the Cornmaze; Magic by Mike & Annie

WEEKEND #4: October 6,7 & 8 (Columbus Day) – Pumpkin Olympics; In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show; Magic by Mike & Annie; Professional Pumpkin Carver Steve Dahlke; Annual Pumpkin Drop (Monday) with 97 Rock; Wristband Day (Columbus Day only): Ride all the amusement rides from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for just $18

WEEKEND #5: October 13 & 14 – Pig Races; In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show; Zombies in the Cornmaze; Funny Face Drawing Contest; World Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition (amateurs on Saturday, professionals on Sunday)

WEEKEND #6: October 20 & 21 – 13th Annual Trebuchet (catapult) Contest with local high school teams (practice Saturday, contest Sunday); Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze; In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show

WEEKEND #7: October 27 & 28 – FINAL WEEKEND; Costume Contest; Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze.

Are you ready for some fall fun?

The Fall Festival at the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence returns for its 23rd year on Saturday, September 15!  For seven consecutive weekends, the whole family can enjoy 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 Cook-off – and so much more

Here’s what’s happening opening weekend, September 15 and 16

Again this year our opening weekend has been declared Armed Forces Weekend, in collaboration with WNYHeroes, Inc.  The regular admission fee will be waived for active duty and retired 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.

MercyFlight, which provides emergency medical care via air and ground transportation, will be here with Beulah, the organization’s educational BO-105 helicopter. Festivalgoers can enjoy taking photos near Beulah and learn more about Mercy Flight’s lifesaving, non-profit mission (and maybe win a prize or two!) at the Mercy Flight booth.

We have some exciting special entertainment scheduled, too – back by popular demand!  Don’t miss Sylvia Fletcher & Friends Ventriloquism – this exciting show will amaze you and make you laugh! Plus, our ever-popular animatronic dinosaurs, Vinnie and Teddy, will be roaming the cornmaze both days from noon to 4:00 p.m. looking for their prey…will it be YOU???

Do you like magic?  Then you’ll LOVE the magic experience of Mike & Annie in the Pumpkin Palace (next to the Cackling Hen Revue).  It’s hilarious, it’s audience participation…and it’s FREE with your festival admission!

All your favorites are back!

You’ll also be able to enjoy all your favorite attractions, such as the Cornmaze; Boo Barn; amusement rides; I Got It Game; Cow Train; Jumping Pillows; Magic Show; Zombie Train; hayrides and so much more!  The Halloween store will be open, as will the bakery, where you can purchase donuts, cider, candy and other confections.  Enjoy your favorite food item at our Food Grove, or your favorite potion (and musical entertainment) at the Witches Brew Bar & Café.

There are a few more surprises scheduled for opening weekend, including some new features!  So grab the entire family and head on out to the Great Pumpkin Farm for opening weekend September 15-16 – or any weekend through October 28 – from 10 am until dusk.  Get admission prices and discounted ticket information.

Get more information about Opening Weekend 2018.