GREAT VALLEY — Autumn may not officially begin until late next week, but in this area the fall season might as well begin Saturday when Pumpkinville opens for its 22nd season.

Workers at the trademark pumpkin farm, located off Route 98 just north of Great Valley, have been busy all week picking pumpkins, readying attractions and preparing for the season’s first customers.

Although pumpkins and autumn typically go hand-in-hand, the fall-like weather that has ended the summer season hasn’t made it easy on pumpkin growing. Dan Pawlowski, who owns and operates Pumpkinville with his wife, Diane, said this week’s warm up was definitely welcomed.

“It’s been a hard summer,” he said. “But we got everything we need to get started and this warm weather will help us out a lot.”

The first pumpkins were picked at the beginning of the week and work continued to fill Pumpkinville’s iconic lawn with pumpkins of different sizes, shapes and colors. It’ll be that way through Halloween.

“We have a yard full and we’ll keep it full all season,” said Pawlowski. “There’s no doubt we got a lot of pumpkins. It’s just getting them ripened up is going to be a challenge for a little bit, but this warm week and sunshine is good.”

The farm has grown substantially the past two decades and seemingly each year the Pawlowskis add a new attraction to accompany its longest lasting traditions that include picking pumpkins, eating donuts or sipping cider.

New this year is an eye catching, multicolored, three-story goat shelter and walk and some heavy duty apple blasters that Pawlowski claims are 10 times as much fun as the old corn cannons.

“We thought there were pretty cool,” he admitted, noting participants aim the blasters at targets out in the field.

The six-acre corn maze, sponsored by WYRK-FM, is designed with a logo of Curious George, who is celebrating his 75th anniversary. The character itself will appear two weekends, Sept. 23 and 24 and Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

The attractions add to the number of new features at Pumpkinville in recent years. Free activities at the farm include the Punchin’ Pumpkin Race, Singing Chicken Show, Perky the Talking Pumpkin, farm animals and more.

Additional activities available with purchase of a wristband include Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillows, the corn maze, pedal carts, a country hayride and the cow train. The Pumpkinville Express train ride — which was added last year — along with the Pumpkinville Mining Company attraction and helicopter rides are also available.

“We’ve worked really hard to make this a fun, fun place to come besides just a place to come and buy pumpkins,” said Pawlowski.

He said the farm employs about 100 workers throughout the fall season, including many leaders who return year after year. As much as it is a tradition for families to return annually, it’s also a tradition for many employees.

“Boy are we blessed because we sure couldn’t pull it off without them,” said Pawlowski.

Pumpkinville is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 16 to Oct. 31 except Halloween, when it closes at 5 p.m. It’s located at 4844 Sugartown Road in Great Valley. Admission and parking are free.

For additional information, call 699-2205 or visit pumpkinville.com.

(Email managing editor Rich Place at rplacesp@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter, @placerm.)

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