Pumpkins and Ponies returns

-Messenger file photo
Paisley Brockman, then 6, and Kayla Rohlfsen, of Algona, meet Happy, an Arabian Saddlebred horse owned by Aryana Jewell, of Iowa Falls, at Pumpkins and Ponies in 2020.

HUMBOLDT — Pumpkins and Ponies is returning to SpringVale Farm in Humboldt next weekend.

The 17th annual event will run Oct. 8-9 at SpringVale Farm, 2603 Lone Tree Road. On Saturday, the hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

SpringVale Farm owners Lonnie and Bob Larson welcome visitors from all over the area and beyond every fall to usher in the autumn season. Bob Larson’s pumpkin patch, featuring hundreds of pumpkins and several different varieties, draws in the crowds.

Bob Larson told The Messenger his favorite part of hosting Pumpkins and Ponies is seeing the smiles on kids’ faces as they return from the pumpkin patch.

“It might be the littlest pumpkin or the biggest, but you see it in their faces – they’re all making memories,” he said. “Those kids will remember coming to the pumpkin patch when they were little.”

Last year’s event brought visitors from 73 communities in 26 counties in Iowa, plus eight states, Lonnie Larson said.

New this year will be carriage rides from Roy Von Ahn and his team of Clydesdale/Gypsy vanner cross horses from Sac City. Several new vendors will also be out at the farm, Lonnie Larson added.

Pumpkins and Ponies has something for all ages, Lonnie Larson said. From traditional wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, to performances by the Dragonfire Dancing Horses, to live music from the Nedd Freeley Funn Band, to an old-fashioned plowing contest with the Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor & Engine Club. Of course, as the name of the event implies, there will be pony rides for kids on Saturday.

The event will start each day with a salute to armed forces and first responders with performances from the Dragonfire Dancing Horses, of Hampton.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors out to the farm for a fun day,” Lonnie Larson said.

The farm’s pumpkin patch is filled with hundreds of pumpkins ready for picking, she said. They have the traditional jack-o-lantern variety, as well as giants, pie pumpkins, ornamentals and several “unusual colors.”

The Larson family plants the pumpkin patch “the old-fashioned way” every June, walking the rows, dropping seeds and pushing them into the soil with their feet. Then they spend the next several months planning the two-day Pumpkins and Ponies event.

“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into putting this on,” Lonnie Larson told The Messenger during the 2020 event. “I guess you could say it’s a labor of love.”


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