ExtraFamily: Find that one perfect pumpkin at patches around the isle
Aloun Farms’ 19th annual Pumpkin Festival features carnival games, food, pony rides — and of course, pumpkin picking.
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Families who want to celebrate fall and fast- approaching Halloween with that one perfect pumpkin (or two) — whether to carve with the kiddies, bake into a yummy pie or just perch on the porch for festive decor — will have a good chance of finding it at one of several pumpkin-centric celebrations this month from Aina Haina to Kapolei and Waipahu to Waimanalo. Contact venues for details on pricing for pumpkins and activities.
LEARNING HOW your food is grown and taking part in a harvest at the state’s largest pumpkin festival makes it a stand-out event for the whole family.
“This year we’ve moved to a brand-new event site just up the road with great views and even more self-picking fun,” said event coordinator Michael Moefu. “Visitors will be able to jump on the free hayride to fields for harvesting corn, beans and pumpkins, or visit the nearby sunflower patch for the perfect selfie.”
The festival features carnival games, pony rides, a petting zoo, local grinds, entertainment and fun selfie stations. Also, with each donation of a canned food, visitors receive a free mini pumpkin or gourd.
Aloun Farms partners with school groups to educate more than 10,000 keiki each year on the importance of diversified agriculture, with taro being this year’s theme, Moefu noted.
“The communities’ continued support during festival weekends allow us to continue our educational tours and also provide donations to programs like Hawaii Foodbank, the National Kidney Foundation, Kapolei and Waipahu high schools,” he said.
A FULL day of country fun is in store at this fall celebration, which Waimanalo Country Farms has been presenting for a decade.
Highlights include a sunflower field, fresh-squeezed Nalo-made lemonade and Old Fashion Kountry sweet tea, and a pumpkin cannon, said Cheyenne Adams, whose family owns and has been operating the farm for more than 70 years. There will also be rides, animals to pet and pumpkin-picking.
“We are a locally owned, family-run farm, so it’s all about family,” Adams said.“Bringing a fall feel for our locals and letting our visitors feel as if they’re at home is something we strive to do.”
HOLY NATIVITY School’s annual festival lands during its 70th anniversary, making this year’s event extra special.
“The pumpkin patch is definitely the highlight of our festival,” said Kimberly Hoi, the school’s director of special events and student services. “It is the largest pumpkin patch on the East side with more than 2,500 pumpkins of various sizes.“
The patch, with pumpkins from Aloun Farms, is designed and created by the school’s sixth-grade students, Hoi noted.
There will be a Keiki Fun Zone with games and fall-themed crafts, rides, a holiday market, country store, craft and food booths, a costume contest, and watermelon-eating and corn-husking contests. Additionally, there will be community entertainment.
ALOUN FARMS’ 19TH ANNUAL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
>> Where:Old Farrington Highway between Kapolei and Waipahu (follow orange flags)
>> When:8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays throughout October
>> Cost: $4; free for ages 2 and younger, and one free entry per two garbage-size bags of clothing donations. Also, free admission for military card holders Oct. 12 and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members Oct. 19.
>> Info: 677-9516, alounfarms.com
10TH ANNUAL FALL HARVEST & PUMPKIN PATCH
>> Where: Waimanalo Country Farms, 41-225 Lupe St.
>> When:9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays throughout October
>> Cost: Free admission
>> Info:306-4381, waimanalo countryfarms.com or visit Waimanalo Country Farms on Instagram and Facebook
HOLY NATIVITY SCHOOL’S 7TH ANNUAL GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
>> Where:5286 Kalanianaole Highway
>> When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19
>> Cost:Free admission
>> Info: 373-3232, holynativityschool.org/pumpkin