A field of 500 bright orange pumpkins will welcome guests again this year at the Pumpkin Patch family event at Yellow Umbrella Thyme for Tea for Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Bright Red Bookshelf.
The two-day fundraiser, held every two years, has become a destination for many families who enjoy the tractor rides, decorations, the refreshments, stories and photo opportunities.
Once again Gibraltar Mines is partnering with Yellow Umbrella to provide the pumpkins for the event.
Yellow Umbrella owner Linda Symynuk said the event started because of her love of pumpkins and her desire as a business to give back to the community.
“Growing up on the Lower Mainland we always visited a pumpkin patch to choose one for Halloween,” Symynuk explained.
“When we decided to do a pumpkin patch here, we bought the pumpkins and placed them in the field behind the tea house and invited people out. We wanted to connect it with a charity and chose Partners for Literacy and their Bright Red Bookshelf.”
One unique aspect to the pumpkin patch this year is a bright, lively pumpkin painting by local artist Liz Derkson, donated for the silent auction.
“I love the whole fall season and grew up with pumpkin patches at Halloween. Pumpkins are just happy and make me smile,” Derkson said, adding that her painting is available at the Yellow Umbrella for bidding until the event this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27.
Symynuk explained that part of the excitement at the event for the kids is riding behind a tractor with her husband Norm at the wheel – driving around until they find exactly the right pumpkin.
“I hear from visitors how much they enjoy the experience – people take the time for a personal thank you, saying that it’s a great family event.
“The kids are always so enthusiastic, and now people bring their cameras to grab a perfect family photo, she said, adding that there are creative, fun ‘photo op’ locations set up, hot chocolate and popcorn served to guests and Partners for Literacy volunteers on hand to read stories to kids.”
She explained visitors to the pumpkin patch pay by donation, adding that the choice of CCPL was an easy one for the Yellow Umbrella.
“They have a very diversified board of directors and they work with all age groups and all people in the community. I know that whatever we raise for them will be used well,” she said.
“I grew up loving books, and believe that everyone should be able to have them.”
Thyme for Tea also celebrates the season with pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice tea and pumpkin cranberry muffins.
Call 250-296-4235 for more information.