It is finally here—the end of this brutally hot summer and the beginning of a gorgeous, crisp fall! What many argue is the most wonderful season of the year is upon us, so bring on all the pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pies, pumpkin waffles, etc.! Pumpkins have become a staple of fall, both in décor as well as on the breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.
As in years past, the best place to get your pumpkins this year is at the Maple Springs United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem. According to the website, “Maple Springs is widely known as ‘the pumpkin church.’ Since 1978, Maple Springs has offered pumpkins for sale to the community in October. The pumpkin patch was managed and operated by youth volunteers with adult supervision and support. Proceeds were used to support our youth ministry programs for the year. Recently, pumpkin patch operation was broadened to be a church-wide ministry. Youth volunteers are, of course, still an important part of the program, but proceeds are now used more broadly to help fund our church-wide missions and outreach ministries.”
Some of these outreach ministries include Operation Christmas Child, Burn Unit Ministry, Food Pantry Ministry, Prison Ministry and H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Eat) Ministry. “Perhaps the most important part of the pumpkin patch is welcoming members of the community to our church campus,” according to the website. “We offer an open invitation to members of our community to worship, work, and serve God with us. The pumpkin patch is one way we can invite the community to make a first visit to our church in a comfortable environment for a fun time of shopping for pumpkins.”
This year marks the 38th celebration of the pumpkin patch at Maple Springs UMC. “Pumpkins will be sold October 3rd through October 31st from 11 am–7 pm on the front lawn of Maple Springs UMC on Reynolda Road near the entrance of WFU,” said Jennifer Chapman, Communications Coordinator for Maple Springs UMC. “Make plans to visit with your family and friends to find the right pumpkin(s) for your Halloween and harvest time celebrations! Many shapes, sizes, colors and varieties will be available. This year, our Pumpkin Patch will have a weekly mission focus. Community members are encouraged to take part in these weekly missions. Our mission for the first week is to prepare Holiday Meal Bags for our Maple Springs Food Pantry. Paper bags and instructions will be given out at the pumpkin patch on Monday, October 3rd–Saturday, October 8th. Completed bags can be returned to Maple Springs throughout the month of October. Other mission opportunities will include a blanket collection for the Winston-Salem Police Department and Operation Christmas Child. All proceeds raised through the Pumpkin Patch will support missions. We want to use these funds the best way possible to bless others.”
The big event is the Pumpkin Patch Palooza! “The Pumpkin Patch Palooza is Sunday, October 23rd, from 4–6 pm,” said Chapman. “We’ll have free admission and parking for an epic community-wide celebration of pumpkins,” she explained. “Activities for the Pumpkin Patch Palooza will include a pumpkin sale (of course!) with 10+ varieties of pumpkins and gourds, and prices ranging from 50¢ to $20, based on size; live music; free food with a snack supper served to attendees; a free gift from Maple Springs UMC; inflatables and games with prizes; a petting zoo with furry animals from Noah’s Place Petting Zoo; and ‘Can the Van,’ where attendees fill the food pantry van with canned good donations for the Maple Springs Food Pantry.”
For more information about the Maple Springs Pumpkin Patch, visit the website at maplesprings.org/pumpkinpatch.