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.