The cottonwoods are starting to turn colors, matching the orange of 15 acres of pumpkins planted at Mortimer Family Farms. The Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze opens Saturday and Sunday with special events added on the weekends of Oct. 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28.
"We have 20 different varieties of pumpkins growing this year, a huge variety of sizes, shapes and colors. It's better than picking one out of the grocery store bin," Sharla Mortimer said.
This is the farm's first year to put in a corn maze. MAiZE, a professional company out of Utah, designed and constructed the 10-acre labyrinth. Mortimer said the maze has three paths - easy, intermediate, and difficult - for all ages.
"You can spend as much or as little time as you want getting lost in the mazes," she said.
She also located the old Young's Farm apple cider press and brought it back to the farm site. Visitors once again will be able to have fresh apple cider.
Each weekend brings different events to the festival, with free admission and parking. The first weekend in October is the Agua Fria Festival, Oct. 6-7, with 250 vendors, antique auction, off road poker run, hay rides, parade and live music. The corn maze opens that weekend. For Agua Fria Festival booth application information, visit www.aguafriafestiva.com.
On Oct. 13, at 2 p.m., the Pumpkin Festival offers old-fashioned horse races. The Mile High Tractor Club will provide tractor pull entertainment on Oct. 20-21. A new event, the Pumpkin Chunkin Contest, takes place Oct. 27.
Mortimer said the Arizona Business League is helping promote this contest that includes three divisions: schools, families and businesses. Groups can bring any non-explosive device built to throw a pumpkin, such as slingshot, trebuchet, or catapult. Judges will award winners in three categories, farthest distance, most accurate, and most interesting or unusual creative design.
"We're contacting all the physics classes in the county," Mortimer said.
The Dewey-Humboldt Historical Society will set up a booth and teach gold panning and roping, along with displays of artifacts showing the history of the area.
Every Saturday night from 6-9:30 p.m. is a Farm Dance with live bands, Mortimer said.