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11:34 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze open weekends through October

The size of Mortimer Farms’ corn maze towers over anyone. (Mortimer Farms/Courtesy, file)

The size of Mortimer Farms’ corn maze towers over anyone. (Mortimer Farms/Courtesy, file)

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Children enjoy looking at pigs, as part of the Pumpkin Fest. (Mortimer Farms/Courtesy, file)

Celebrate fall at the farm — Mortimer Farms to be precise — with the ninth annual Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze.

Featuring more than 40 farm-inspired rides and activities, games, animals and more, the focus is on customer comfort and trying to make sure everything will be a great experience for people, said Sharla Mortimer, who co-owns the farm with her husband.

Fire dancers and miniature dog races have always been a part of the event, and an illusion show and pig races have had a presence in the last few years, but this year will see a contortionist and aerial silk acrobatics, she said. Further, the maze is the Proud to Be American maze with the image of Mortimer’s son with a giant American Flag. It’s about 12 feet tall and a big portion of it is inside the flag and going through the stars.

“I just feel like … with all the things going on in our world and our country, that you know what, we just need to get back to those basics and just talk about the fact that we are here, we are free, we have a great opportunity in this country to worship who we want and be able to farm and do the things that I do out here,” Mortimer said. “So I just wanted to celebrate it.”

Held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Friday, Sept. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 28, as well as Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 8, admission is $14.50 plus tax online, $15.85 plus tax at the gate Saturdays and Sundays, and $11 plus tax on weekdays; children 2 and younger get in free.

A portion of the festival activities are open during the week.

Friday nights include the Friday Night Barn Dance, dinner at the barn, magic at night and fire dancers. Saturday nights have karaoke, magic at night and fire dancers.

All the money from admissions goes straight to the farm to help it be sustainable from year after year, Mortimer said. All the farm’s products are sold directly at the farm, and the Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze helps that to be possible.

The event also gives families a time to come together and create something that will last forever. “My oldest daughter is almost 21, my son just joined the Army, I’ve got a daughter who’s a senior in high school and a son who’s a freshman,” she said. “It’s just like yesterday that they were just born. I can’t believe how fast the time goes. Every moment that we can spend with our kids is precious.”

No pets are allowed due to food safety practices. For more information and online ticket sales, visit www.mortimerfarmsaz.com. Mortimer Farms is located at 12907 E. Highway 169.