Even though temperatures are still reaching above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the Rio Grande Valley is gearing up for fall with pumpkin patches across the area.
Local residents are able to welcome the season with their loved ones at several autumn decor-adorned locations, including Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch in McAllen, which this year will also have patches in Weslaco and Mission.
Last year, the ranch estate received around 1,500 visitors in their two months of operation. With so many people taking advantage of last year’s set-up, Rick Vega, the patch’s founder, decided that it was time to expand.
“After the last pumpkin patch, the response from the public was so great that I thought about expanding to more areas just to accommodate for all the people,” Vega said.
The McAllen site is a 5-acre ranch located on 6712 N. Bentsen Road. Additional locations include 10310 N. Conway Ave. in Mission, and off 88 Mile 12 1/2 in Weslaco.
All locations opened Sept. 14. Hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission fee for the Mission location is $5 per person, while the McAllen and Weslaco sites are $8. In October, the fees for McAllen and Weslaco will go up to $10.
All locations feature a playground for children, tin barrel train rides and farm animals for attendees to meet, along with the grand pumpkin patch.
“We are just basically flooded with pumpkins,” Vega said.
Adding to the region’s fall spirit, St. Mark United Methodist Church will open its annual pumpkin patch at 1 p.m. Sunday. Located at 301 Pecan Blvd. in McAllen, locals are invited at no cost and are free to take pictures all around the set-up.
Edinburg First United Methodist Church will also be hosting a pumpkin patch this season. Opening at noon Sunday, the patch features more than 200 pumpkins for attendees to see and purchase. Entrance is free, and pumpkin bread will be for sale.
“It’s delicious,” Jackie Carlson, the church’s office assistant administrator, said. “It is our famous pumpkin bread that we make every year.”
A small loaf costs $5, and $7 for the large.
On the church’s lawn, pumpkins will be sitting on wooden pallets, with hay bails complementing the fall theme. Children rides and playsets will also be open.
“It’s going to be a really fun time,” Carlson said. “It is a great place to take photos and make memories with family, while helping out the community.”