Pumpkin Fest Returns in Spectacular Fashion

Published Date: Nov 9, 2021 4:00:00 PM

The Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest made a spectacular return in October after a one-year absence.

More than 75,000 people attended the event, which was significantly revamped to accommodate COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

“We’re glad that we were able to hold Pumpkin Fest after having to cancel last year because of COVID,” director Craig Walters said. “We want to thank everyone who came out and made this event a success. It exceeded our greatest expectations.”

Traditionally, the festival was a two-day event that took place on an October weekend. After that, the pumpkin patch remained open for the remainder of the month, but still drew thousands of people even with fewer activities.

This year, the event was expanded to cover the entire month, with attendance capped each day to ensure social distancing. Visitors had to buy tickets or make reservations online in advance, no were sold at the gate.

“Demand for these tickets was very strong, and we sold out for the entire month.  People understood why we had to make changes and were very accepting.” Walters said. 

The festival featured the traditional corn maze, hayrides, Kids’ Pumpkin Patch, Kids’ maze, sunflower patch, pumpkin pie eating contests, dog costume contests, cow milking and sheep shearing demonstrations, and live entertainment.

One favorite activity – the Insect Fair – was not held this year because of COVID. This year’s pumpkin fest featured only outdoor activities.

New activities included a “Moo Moo Cow Train” pulled by an antique tractor, the Children’s Garden, and an expanded Kid’s Country Fair area. 

In addition, the Huntley College of Agriculture had a booth at the event for the first time, offering information about its programs and free giveaways to visitors.

Student clubs within the college have long had booths with games and other concessions to raise money for their activities. The pumpkin fest also employed many students to put on and run the event.

“It’s a great experience for our students, and we hope our visitors had a fun time here with their families,” Walters said. “We’re already making plans for an even better Pumpkin Fest 2022!”