Move over, Great Pumpkin. In just a couple of weeks, more than 2,000 pumpkins will help transform the lawn of the First Congregational Church in River Edge into what has become somewhat of a local fall landmark in our neighborhood. This year’s 4th annual Pumpkin Patch fundraiser will be back, beginning the afternoon of Saturday, October 6.
Dozens of volunteers are expected to turn out when a truck load of various varieties of pumpkins, gourds and corn arrive bright and early. They will come home grown from the Navajo Reservation in Farmington, New Mexico.
Last year, more than 90 volunteers from the church and local community were on hand to unload and set up the area. Church members worked side by side with Scouts, high school students and other volunteers to get the pumpkin patch ready for its grand opening.
A steady flow of people will soon make the Patch a favorite stop for their pumpkin picking. More than just a pumpkin sale, the Patch has become a “fun” raiser and is now a place to catch up with friends, take photos of the kids, and spend a few minutes selecting a future jack o’lantern.
On Saturday, October 13, from 2-5 pm, father and son master pumpkin carvers, Charlie and Frankie Gobel, are scheduled to be on hand to demonstrate their craftsmanship. This dynamic duo will provide tips on how to carve a pumpkin into a creative masterpiece. Past creations have included the likes of James Dean, Frankenstein, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and other celebrities, as well as Halloween favorites.
Homemade baked goods and other delights will also be available for sale. Returning customers will be glad to know the mouthwatering apple butter and apple sauce, fruit pies, breads and other treats will be back.
The First Congregational Church is part of the Pumpkin Patch Family of Churches and other non-profit groups in 1,300 locations across the country that participate in this annual event. Each year, host organizations net several million dollars that help the local Navajo economy through jobs and projects such as Habitat for Humanity and subsidies for youth summer camp costs. Sponsor organizations also get a portion of the proceeds for their local projects. For more information, go to www.pumpkinsusa.com.
The First Congregational Church is located at the corner of Kinderkamack Road and Continental Avenue in River Edge, NJ. The Patch will be open daily, late morning until 7 PM.