COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — A beloved community tradition continues this weekend in Southern Colorado as the Venetucci Farm pumpkin patch returns. These weekly events will also feature a craft fair, concessions, games, and outdoor activities.
The sisters from Gather Mountain Blooms spent the day Friday unloading a delivery of some 1,500 pumpkins to get ready for the big event.
"Just understanding how much that meant to Nick and Bambi Venetucci to have the community involved, to give pumpkins to kids, to bring people here for the pumpkins," said farmer Leah Remacle.
For decades Nick Venetucci "the Pumpkin Man" gave away pumpkins to local children. The farm was gifted to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation following his death to carry on the tradition. The discovery a few years ago of groundwater contamination has prevented the farm from producing its own pumpkins. Instead, they're shipped in from a grower in Pueblo County.
"Since we couldn't grow crops there anymore, we're growing flowers. So, that's been something that we started just this year," said Remacle.
The sisters lease the property from the foundation and run a small business here. In addition to the flower garden, they've opened a store to sell handmade goods.
"We know it's been pretty special for a lot of people, there's been a lot of memories. And so, we are so excited to be able to bring that back to Venetucci, back to the community, back to the families."
The pumpkin patch will be open Saturdays in October from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. with the exception of October 9 when a private event will take place at the farm. In keeping with tradition, the pumpkins will be offered free to children age 8 and younger.
Anyone age 9 years and older can purchase a pumpkin for $12. There is a $5 admission fee. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their admission tickets in advance at https://www.venetuccifarm.org/pumpkins.