Families flock to Cal Poly Pumpkin Festival

Autumn was in the air when hundreds of Radio Flyer wagons flocked to the Cal Poly Pomona campus’ annual Pumpkin Festival on Saturday.

“The kids keep me coming back,” Tony McWhirter of Monrovia said.

He has been attending the festival on and off for six years, and tries to make it whenever he hears about it.

An entire field covered with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes could be seen from the road. This picture invited outsiders in to find a homegrown pumpkin to carve.

Cal Poly not only provides safe and festive family fun, but also takes the opportunity to raise money for the school in a positive way that gives back to the community.

The festival has grown over the years and was packed with families young and old searching for that perfect pumpkin to greet trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

Pumpkin hunting is not the only thing families were able to enjoy this year. Cal Poly provided activities like face painting, coloring and bounce houses for children who were not ready for the fun to stop after they chose a pumpkin.

Jennie Lavin from the City of Commerce has been coming every year for the last five years with her multiplying family.

The Lavin family has made it a tradition to reunite every year and enjoy the Pumpkin Festival together. Lavin hopes the tradition will live on long after her and her husband are no longer capable of attending.

The familial atmosphere at the festival was obviously aimed at satisfying and preoccupying the little ones. Children rode wagons or walked close to their parents trying to take in the marvel of the festival.

Parents like Shay Pulido from Chino Hills bring their children so they can run around for a few hours outdoors.

This year’s festival was Pulido’s second and she enjoys the family environment and the natural feel the festival provides. She intends to continue the newly made tradition of bringing her son to the pumpkin patch.

Although it was a warm day, everyone seemed to be making the most of it all, especially after seeing their child’s face light up with excitement over the anticipation of an afternoon of fun.

Families made the whole day of it, strapped with all the supplies needed for the children, and even packing the dog up to participate in fall fun.

Cathy Bushy of Azusa has attended the festival with her four kids for the past three years now. She looks forward to picking out pumpkins every year, and her children have decided to begin growing their own pumpkins at home.

Young and old attended the Cal Poly Pumpkin Festival this year. They came, they picked, and they left all with the hopes of being able to do it again next year.

Jordan can be reached at jlitke@ulv.edu.

Jordan Litke

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