2 pumpkin festivals will kick off Yavapai County harvest season this weekend
Yavapai County's two major pumpkin festivals kick off this weekend with a cornucopia of activities for young and old.
Mortimer Farms in Dewey-Humboldt and Freeman Farms in Chino Valley both put on pumpkin festivals that run every weekend in October.
Freeman Farms' festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday plus Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 14. Mortimer Farms' festival hours are 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10-10 Saturday and 10-5 Sunday.
One of the most unusual activities at the festivals this year will be the 15-acre cornfield maze at Mortimer Farms designed to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots from Prescott, who perished fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire June 30.
"We saw how the community really came together and we wanted that to continue through October," Sharla Mortimer said.
Mortimer Farms kicks off its festival with fireworks at 8 p.m. tonight, and admission is free today for firefighters and their families. Fireworks also take place on the Saturdays of Oct. 12, 19 and 26.
Other Mortimer Farms pumpkin fest activities include a 25-acre pumpkin patch, hay rides, haunted house in an old farmhouse, antique tractor show and pull, food and craft vendors, and live entertainment. The farm store also will be open.
Games and rides include a Ferris wheel, zip line, bubble run, corn bath, laser tag and climbing wall.
The farm dance every Saturday night features live country and western bands.
The $12 admission fee (free for those younger than 3) includes all the rides and events except animal rides.
The farm is located at the corner of highways 69 and 169. Go online to mortimerfamilyfarms.com for more detailed information or call 830-1116.
Freeman Farms' country fair style pumpkin festival features a petting zoo, corn maze, hay ride, horse and dog shows, food and vendors, face painting, live entertainment, and of course the pumpkin patch. Rides include a merry-go-round and kid's train.
The farm has teamed up with the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation to grow pink pumpkins in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of the sales of the pink pumpkins will be donated to the fight against breast cancer.
Wristbands cost $15 for adults and $10 for children (free for kids younger than 2) and grant admission to all the events and rides.
The farm is located at 1096 E. Road 3 South in Chino Valley. For discounted tickets and more information, go online to azpumpkins.com or call 636-5714.
Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder.