HUMBOLDT - There's more to finding the perfect pumpkin than finding the perfect pumpkin patch.
There are wagon rides and pony rides, tables of food, tons of jams and jellies.
And all of it will be part of the sixth annual Pumpkins and Ponies celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Spring Vale Farm, 2603 Lone Tree Road. If it rains on Saturday, the search for the great pumpkin will be Oct. 9.
Farm owners Lonnie and Bob Larson used to offer pony rides to anyone who would call in advance to ask. But, Lonnie Larson said, the parents and grandparents who brought children for the pony rides seemed almost reluctant to leave the farm, to leave the fresh air, the animals, the lifestyle.
"About that time, Bob decided it would be a fun diversification to the corn, beans and alfalfa crop to plant some pumpkins," she said. "When harvest time arrived, the family got together and discussed inviting people to the farm for a fun day to pick a pumpkin from the patch and have a pony ride."
And the rest, as people say, is history.
If you go
WHO: Lonnie and Bob Larson.
WHAT: Sixth annual Pumpkins and Ponies.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Spring Vale Farm, 2603 Lone Tree Road, Humboldt.
THE EVENT is free and open to the public.
Saturday's celebration should be sunny, if slightly cooler, in the high 60s.
One of the Humboldt 4-H clubs, Bits and Bridles, takes care of the pony-ride activities, and members use it as a community service project, Larson said. The Badger Lutheran Church youth group will provide a noon lunch with hot sandwiches, chili and a drink.
And that "turned out to be a good partnership because all that pumpkin pickin' and pony ridin' make folks hungry," Larson said.
"We are so blessed to have wonderful neighbors who volunteer their time and helping hands, too," she said. "An antique tractor is used to pull a wagon to the pumpkin patch, and horse-drawn rides are also available from Dream Carriages. Both modes of transportation are enjoyed.
"A photographer is on hand for the day to capture memories with a professional photo. There will be vendors on hand with harvest fare, farmers market and/or horse-related products for some unique browsing and shopping opportunities. There will be some new things to see and do this year and some new displays."
Also new this year will be live music by Von Ketelsen, whose musical style and repertoire is called by Larson "a good match for the family-oriented flavor of the day."
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org