For the past three years, Parsons Farms has been holding an annual Fall Festival, filled with fall fun for the whole family.
“It was four years ago we decided to do an end-of-the-year party,” said Paul Parsons, “sort of a big bang to get all the customers together at the end of the year to celebrate the fall and the harvest. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.”
This year, the festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a rain date of Oct. 14.
The festival offers numerous kids’ activities, including corn and straw mazes, pony rides and hayrides, as well as “farmer for the day” activities, which are geared to kids 2 to 8 years old.
“We let the kids go in and they get to use the corn-shelling machine, where they put of an ear of corn in the top of it and they crank it with their hands,” explained Parsons. “It shells the corn, and then they collect the corn at the bottom of it and they’ll get to go feed that to the chickens, like they would if they were on a farm.
“We let the kids dig for sweet potatoes. We have a big sandbox that’s filled with sweet potatoes, and they dig for those. We also do plants, like little lettuce in Dixie cups that they can take home with them. We have a fake apple tree they can pick off apples from the tree. The kids like doing that.”
To participate in the various children’s activities, kids will have to pay with tickets, which cost $1 per ticket or $18 for 20 tickets. Kids can also build their own scarecrow and get their face painted.
Parsons added that the Indian River High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) club will be at the festival, selling squares for their annual Cow Pie Bingo.
“We section off a portion of the pasture, and we make it look like bingo board,” explained Parsons. “Then the FFA, throughout the fall, have been selling tickets, and they’ll be for sale the day of the event, as well. You have a square and we take the cow and we put in the middle of the bingo board, and wherever he goes, if that’s your square, you win. It’s like a big 50-50, and it’s one of the biggest fundraisers for the FFA. We want to support young agriculture and help them out as much as we can.”
A DJ will also be emceeing throughout the day and giving away gifts to attendees every half-hour. The day will include an antique tractor show, and a local softball team will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a Ford Mustang, with the winner to be drawn at a later date.
“We have Punkin’ Chunkin’ machines come out,” added Parsons. “Everyone loves that because you can come and actually shoot the machine off yourself.”
There will also be a free pie-eating contest and a free bobbing-for-apples contest.
“The biggest thing we do is the pie-eating contest that we do every year,” said Parsons. “We have two divisions — a kids division and an adult class — and trophies given out for that. We do the same for the bobbing-for-apples contest.”
Parsons noted that the community response to the event has been extremely positive and that he and his family have been proud to offer a fun fall event for the community to enjoy.
“It’s been great. Everybody seems to have a good time. People stop and thank me for putting it on,” said Parsons. “There’s not much in the Dagsboro area as far as festivals. This brings everybody together in the community, and we all have a good time.”
For more information, call (302) 732-3336. Parsons Farms Produce is located on Route 20 in Dagsboro.