Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang have nothing on the Boca Raton Pumpkin Patch Festival, which returns to the Mizner Park Amphitheater on Oct. 19-20. The popular event features a variety of fun activities, including an enormous pumpkin patch, a carnival, a scarecrow dress-up village, and a food court with sweet and savory treats.
The Festival’s famous big sister—the Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival—has received national recognition in recent years from the likes of O, The Oprah Magazine and Travel & Leisure. Fort Lauderdale’s Vanessa Goodis, the creative lead of Promo Moxie Marketing, which produces some of the region’s largest events (including both pumpkin festivals), takes us inside the Patch.
What sparked your idea for the Pumpkin Patch Festival?
I’ve always loved all things pumpkin, and fall, but as a South Florida native I was never able to have that experience here at home. About 10 years ago, I was visiting a pumpkin patch in another state, and it occurred to me that I’m not alone in that affinity for gorgeous family photo opportunities and the love of picking the perfect pumpkin. So, I decided to bring the season to life here for families to enjoy a wholesome and fun day at our festival.
How does the festival give us that “change of season” feeling?
While we can’t change the weather, we try our best to build an autumnal oasis complete with thousands of pumpkins in different shapes and sizes, several beautiful areas to capture the perfect fall photo, a cornstalk maze and even fall-themed bars for adults to enjoy a cold Sam Adams Octoberfest [beer] or Angry Orchard hard apple cider. We round out the experience with carnival rides for all ages to enjoy.
What popular aspects from past festivals will we see again this year?
We’re bringing back all the same fun from years past, including our super-popular Pumpkin Decorating Tent, where (for a small fee) families can let their inner Picassos emerge to decorate their pumpkins with a multitude of supplies—markers, gems, stickers, pipe cleaners and more. Best of all, we clean up the mess. Parents love that part.