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Cal Poly Pomona brings in the harvest
Posted October 17, 2005

They’re orange, round and thousands of them will become decorations for the upcoming Halloween celebrations. You guessed it; they’re pumpkins.

With Halloween approaching, the demand for pumpkins is on the rise and Cal Poly Pomona’s annual pumpkin festival is here to provide pumpkins of all shapes and sizes to carve, cook and otherwise celebrate the holiday.

Every year Cal Poly Pomona hosts an annual pumpkin festival sponsored by their college of agriculture.

The event has been going on for about 13 years, said Stacey Plummer, president of Los Rancheros, an agronomy and soil science club that sponsors the event each year.

The pumpkins are grown by the department of horticulture and soil science in different locations and are brought to Cal Poly every year for the festival. Prices for the pumpkins range according to the size.

Different departments from the college of agriculture set up booths to help raise money at the pumpkin patch. The money is used to give out scholarships to Cal Poly students.

There are about five or six different scholarships of varying amounts that are given out, Plummer said.            

This year the event took place Oct. 15 and 16 at Cal Poly Pomona. Aside from the thousands of pumpkins that covered about 200 yards of land, the patch provided a space for kids to have plenty of fun feeding the goats and pigs at the petting zoo, enjoying the pony rides, getting their faces painted or bouncing around in the blue and red jumpers. Parents could enjoy some of the food which included corn on the cob, funnel cake, frozen lemonade, burgers and hot dogs. 

“We really want the community to come out,” Plummer said.

With so many things to do at the festival this year, Los Rancheros didn’t have any trouble attracting visitors.

“We love it,” said Kathy Marchi, a pumpkin lover from Anaheim Hills. “This is so much better than previous years; the food is much better and lots of fun for the kids.”

“I think it grows. Every year there is more and more people,” Plummer said.

The festival has been known to attract about 20,000 people over the weekend.           

Morgan Brown, an elementary school teacher, liked the wider variety of booths, food and activities this year.

Families visiting the patch take home from one to twenty pumpkins to eat or to use for decorations. Some families have turned the annual pumpkin patch into a tradition.

Paula Sandy has been bringing her kids for the past eight years.

“We’ve been coming so long I don’t even remember the first time we came,” said Jennifer Sandy, Paula’s 14-year-old daughter.

“I was surprised. Even my 17-year-old wanted to come,” Paula Sandy said.

With Halloween approaching and Thanksgiving right around the corner, locals will not be left without a pumpkin if they took advantage of the Cal Poly pumpkin festival.

Laura Bucio can be reached at