United Methodist Church, located at 300 East Main Street, imported hundreds of pumpkins from the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico this week, unloading them Tuesday night, Oct. 8, with help from the Fox Lane JV football team and local scouts.
Pastor Karen Burger said the tradition goes back more than 10 years.
“We are actually known as the pumpkin church now,” she said. “It’s a really neat tradition. The kids and families love it. It’s also a great way to benefit the folks who actually grow the pumpkins.”
A wide variety of pumpkins – those from the size of a baseball to ones as big as a medicine ball – will be displayed, available for purchase, in front of United Methodist throughout October. Burger said the pumpkins are so popular amongst the community that another truckload from New Mexico will bring a second shipment sometime soon.
“We usually get rid of most, if not all, of them,” she said.
Burger said this year’s delivery was impacted by Monday’s tornado watch in the area, as the truck driver had to stay overnight until driving back to New Mexico. She was flattered by the support of local volunteers who joined football players and scouts in the unloading Tuesday night.
“Our pumpkins always bring new faces to our church, which I love,” she said. “It’s great for us to get out of these walls [the church] and get involved with local residents outside.”
United Methodist’s pumpkin patch will host its annual “Great Pumpkin Festival” on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food, games, a bouncy castle and story time will be available to all those who stop by.