UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, Parson's is postponing their fall festival to next weekend, October 19, with a rain date of October 20.
Parsons Farms Produce will hold its 5th Annual Fall Festival this Saturday, Oct. 12, with a focus on fall family fun.
“We just decided to start it,” said Paul Parsons of the festival’s inception five years ago. “We just wanted to have an end-of-the-year festival to celebrate the harvest.”
The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, ahead of the seasonal closure of Parsons Farms Produce at the end of October.
During the event, families can participate in a number of activities, from pumpkin bowling and build-your-own scarecrow-making to face painting.
“We’ve got bowling pins and two lanes set up out in the field,” explained Parsons of the new pumpkin bowling activity. “So people can pay a few tickets and bowl a pumpkin down the isle and knock the pins down.”
Parsons said that kids may participate in pedal-tractor races, another new activity added to this year’s festival.
“The kids can pedal these tractors, and we’ll let them go around a race track,” he explained.
Parsons will also have an obstacle course set up for older children, while there will be a straw maze for the little ones. Also returning are the popular Farmer for a Day activities.
“The kids will be able to use an old-fashioned corn-sheller and put corn cobs in, and they can collect the corn from the machine and go feed the chickens. Then they can go look for eggs. We’ll also have a fake apple tree where they can pick the apples off the tree.”
Additionally, kids can enjoy pony rides, hayrides, Punkin’ Chunkin’ machines, and more.
“The kids love them!” said Parsons of the machines.
The Indian River Future Farmers of America will also be at the festival, selling tickets for cow-pie bingo. All the proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the club.
“I wanted to get the community involved, as well — that’s why we bring in the FFA for the cow-pie bingo,” said Parsons. “We want to keep an interest in agriculture. We need young farmers.”
Animal lovers could find themselves in hog heaven, as miniature pigs about the size of rabbits will be at the farm, along with the Parsons’ goats and baby chicks.
Most activities will cost a certain number of tickets to participate. Tickets will cost $1 each, or 20 may be purchased for $18.
A stage will be set up on-site for the annual free pumpkin pie-eating contest and bobbing for apples contest.
“Everyone loves to watch them,” said Parsons with a laugh.
During the festival, Parsons will be selling various produce, including local pumpkins, apples, sweet corn, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as fresh eggs and Parsons’ own apple cider.
Free parking will also be available on-site, and those who park in the adjacent field will receive a free hayride to the farm.
Last year, Parsons said, approximately 1,000 people attended the festival, and he hopes to have a large turnout again this year.
“It’s great. Everyone enjoys it. People usually hang around for hours,” he said. “It’s just fun for the whole family.”
Parsons Farms Produce is located on Route 20 in Dagsboro. For more information on the fall festival, call (302) 732-3336 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Parsons-Farms-Produce/307375852639020. The rain date for the festival is Sunday, Oct. 13.