Ripe For Pickin’

Taken at a previous Pumpkin Patch event, Nick Tovar III and Pete Tovar load their wagon with some ripe pumpkins. This year’s event will be held at a different location, the old baseball ballpark located south of town on Armory Road next to the Knights of Columbus Hall. The event boasts plenty of activities for the children to participate in for a small fee, while mom and dad, or the grandparents, can get photos of their little ones among the pumpkins and backdrops of various fall theme decorations. The event is hosted by the sisters of Theta Delta. This is the 13th and final year to do the event, which will be continued next year by another group. The Pumpkin Patch is a fundraiser that has enabled the group to give to local causes year-after-year, well over $50 grand has been donated.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Rain or shine, the sisters of Theta Delta are hosting their last Pumpkin Patch event this Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the old ballpark located on Armory Road next to the Knights of Columbus Hall.

“Our Theta Delta sorority is extremely grateful to the residents of El Campo and the surrounding area for their support of our annual pumpkin patch for the past 13 years,” President Colleen Rasmussen said.

“We are very proud to have turned this small event that the original Theta Deltas started into a major community event,” Vice President Stacy Romo said.

The event, which was originally just one day, a Saturday in October, expanded to two days, adding a VIP Friday night opportunity for a limited number who purchase tickets in advance to pick a pumpkin and enjoy the festivities without the large crowd. Theta Delta will be doing that again this year.

“The VIP event starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 8),” Romo said. “Only 100 tickets will be sold, and at this point, we only have 20 left.”

Keeping with tradition, various types of pumpkins will be available for picking with an entry fee, and as always, there will be plenty of fall decorated backdrops and a real scarecrow for photo opportunities with your little ones and family.

Over the years, the event has been held at various locations, most of them being at Evans Park.

“Every year we have tried to bring something new to the event, and we have outgrown Evan’s park,” Romo said. “This year we are adding a train since we have room.”

There is a $10 entry fee for a family of five for Saturday, which includes photo opportunities and picking a regular pumpkin to take home. A $25 fee will be charged for the VIP event on Friday evening. A $5 activity pass will get enable children to get their face painted and stamped with a temporary tattoo. For additional fees, one can paint a miniature pumpkin and ride the train.

What started small has also grown with additional backdrops and activities added.

“Throughout the years we have added a large variety of backdrops, live animals, a live scarecrow, tractors, an antique truck, an antique bathtub, our VIP Friday night and so much more,” Romo said.

The sisters of Theta Delta have done this event year after year because it is a good wholesome community event for families and their children and grandchildren. It has also enabled them to help other individuals and organizations.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that we have been able to donate over $50,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors,” Theta Delta President Colleen Rasmussen said. “We provide funds to Wharton County Electric Co-op and Child Protective Services annually to assist those in need and to make Christmas special for those in foster care. We have supported the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and we have donated to local charities around town and support and promote our sister sorority groups as well.”

Other worthy causes have been donations to Bastrop when they had the fire disaster, our military troops serving overseas, to help provide hurricane relief, adopting a family each Thanksgiving and providing opportunities for students who want to volunteer for community service hours.

But now is the time to pass on this traditional fall event that many families and children look forward to.

“It is a lot of work to put on this event, and our members and our members’ children have aged to the point we know it is time to turn it over to a larger group with younger help available (to help),” Romo said. “We have watched a generation of children grow up enjoying this event, including our own, and we are so pleased to pass it on so that the invaluable community event can carry on.”

Next year, First Lutheran Church and Daycare will be in charge of the Pumpkin Patch.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.