Annual festival to open at the end of the month

Entering its ninth year as a holiday tradition, the annual Halloween Harvest Festival at Pierce College officially opens its gates Sept. 27 at the Farm Center on Pierce College’s campus with activities designed with guests of all ages in mind.

Robert McBroom, director of the Pierce Farm Center, said the Halloween Harvest Festival is a six week, end of season event.

“The farm is harvesting their goods for the last harvest before winter so it’s always been a time when people come out. Other kinds of harvest festivals often have old family farms, barbecues, with community gatherings in rural environments with pumpkin patches and other commercial opportunities,”  he said.  “We have taken the commercial side and slowed it down a bit to the rural feel to what a harvest type festival is.”

Activities such as rides, stage shows, petting zoos, pumpkin patches and food venders of all kinds are just some of the attractions for guests to enjoy this year, with the park switching gears and hosting more Halloween type scare zones after dark.

“We have 10 food vendors this year. Everything from Italian, barbecue, kettle corn, Peruvian chicken, corn on the cob, LA Ice and funnel cake,” McBroom said.  “Everybody likes corn and funnel cake.”

“I’m mostly looking forward to the food booths,” said Nick White, a metal shop fabricator for the Farm Center. “Those caramel apples are killer. Especially the cheesecake and Oreo kind.”

For the last few years, the Halloween Harvest Festival has been centered around a theme that the entire festival celebrates. For Halloween Harvest Festival 2013 the theme is “Flight for Life.” The meaning of the theme lies within the corn, according to McBroom.

“The corn fields are a huge part of the festival, but instead of trying to sell all of it once we are done, we are going to leave it on the ground after we cut it,” said McBroom. “This year instead of growing commercial corn in the fields, we are growing animal feed type corn, primarily for the many Canadian geese that fly in every year around here that have nowhere else to find food. In this way, we can provide both a form of community service as well as a form of entertainment from the corn fields.”

The Halloween Harvest Festival is not limited to Pierce students, but is open for the entire community to enjoy.

Frankie Paglianti, a clerk in the Pierce Farm Center market said, “I’ve only been here for one Harvest Festival, but it’s both fun and crazy once it starts. It goes from quiet to insane just like that. We are selling pumpkins especially like crazy.”

The Halloween Harvest Festival has a $5 admission fee that goes straight back into the Pierce Farm Center with extra attractions such as the corn maze at a small additional fee. The festival opens Sept. 27 through Nov. 3.

For more information visit the official website at http://www.halloweenharvestfestival.comv