Greetings Readers! We are full swing into our October special and this week we will be talking about celebrating the harvest time at a good old fashioned Farm Festival. Yes, we do have farms here! Specifically, we will be talking about Buckelew Farms. Buckelew Farms is a real, working farm in Three Points, AZ. It is located a quick 22 miles west of the I-10 and I-19 interchange off of Ajo Road and is about 40 minutes from downtown.
(An Aerial photo of Buckelew Farms)
The farm grows cotton as well as other crops, but their claim to fame is the Annual Buckelew Farms Pumpkin Festival. This festival is in its 26th year and it keeps on growing! (pun intended). I have made a trip to the Buckelew Pumpkin Festival a tradition. I go pretty much every year and it has been amazing to see the event get bigger and bigger each season. What started out as a simple drive to the patch to buy some farm fresh pumpkins has turned into an all-out miniature fair.
The festival now features so much stuff to do you may need more than one day to do it! There is still the backbone of all the hustle and bustle, which is the pumpkin patch itself. You can take a tractor pulled wagon out to the fields and search for that pumpkin you have been waiting for all your life, you know the long, tall one that will make the perfect Frankenstein head, or the short, fat, round one that will easily double as great fall candy bowl.
When you find pumpkin perfection you will ride back to the cashier’s tent where your haul will be weighed and the festival staff can help you carry it to your car. This season pumpkins are $0.50 per lb.
(Folks out finding the Perfect Pumpkin at Buckelew, and the weigh station)
Once the pumpkins are safely stashed away you will want to head over to enjoy some of the many other activities the festival has to offer, including –
The Arts and Crafts Tent
The brand new country store gift shop (new this year)
The Beer Garden
The food vendors (including roasted corn!)
The 4-H club’s petting Zoo
and the Corn Maze, and Haunted Corn Field.
The Corn Maze and Haunted Corn field are not brand new additions to the festival, but they get better every year! This year’s design for both is new!
Fun fact: The corn maze is designed to create a picture that can be seen from the air
(The first ever corn maze design for Buckelew Farms)
The Corn Maze is pretty intricate and you need at least two hours to complete it, well at least if you are as directionally impaired as I am. You may be able to complete it in one, but it is definitely NOT a quick in and out! There are staff members in the maze at 12 different checkpoints to help keep you on track and no one has gotten permanently lost so far. If they have, then you would surely find their ghost in the Haunted Cornfield.
The Haunted Cornfield is truly scary (the farm will NOT admit anyone under 12 without adult supervision, and strongly recommends parental discretion) and the farm offers this attraction up at night to boot! There is very little in the way of frightening and spooky Halloween fun that can compare with the terror of walking around a cornfield late at night with various boogie men, monsters, and ghosts hiding in the stalks to well ‘stalk’ you (Pun intended again).
(The Haunted Cornfield at Buckelew Farms)
One of the attractions that is new this year and kind of an extension of the Haunted Cornfield is the Zombie Shootout. It is what it sounds like. Their are twelve paintball guns stationed at the field and your goal is to shoot as many zombies as you can while they try to capture your flags that are located in an obstacle course. The zombies are played by live actors and you can partake in this ghoulish gunning during the day or at night. This addition to the farm’s festivities is quite timely to capitalize on the ‘zombie mania’ that seems to have been on the rise with pop culture fair such as ‘World War Z’, ‘Zombie Nation’, and of course, AMC’s Mega-Hit ‘The Walking Dead’. In fact, I am not ashamed to admit that one of the main reasons I tried this attraction was because of my fandom for ‘The Walking Dead’; and it was not disappointing, it was pretty fun to practice one’s skills for a Zombie Apocalypse – you know, just in case.
I was a little disappointed however that you can no longer bring your dogs. At one point you could, but the farm has not allowed pets since 2012.
I did manage to bring back some of the delicious home-made pumpkin pie that you can purchase at the farm and because my dogs are spoiled, they each got a small slice, so they didn’t miss their favorite part of the festival. To find out what your favorite part of the festival is you will have to visit!
To learn more about where to stay while you enjoy an old fashioned fall farm festival at Buckelew Farms, and to learn more about the event itself click on the links below.
Also, make sure you take full advantage of all the easy and fun Autumn Ideas and Recipies we will be sharing this month by following us on Pinterest and joining our Tucson E-mail updates!