by Eva Potter
Saturday, Sept. 14 marks the long-awaited season opener of Pumpkinville, Great Valley’s annual fall attraction celebrating all things pumpkin.
As the county’s largest tourist attraction, the 200-acre oldest continuously working pumpkin farm in New York State, Pumpkinville welcomes roughly 100,000 visitors each year from the region and far-away places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada. It’s always a memorable time with loads to see and do, all wrapped in a fun, festival atmosphere.
Thanks to the hard work of owners Dan and Diane Pawlowski and their children, Jim and Lisa, along with close to 100 employees, they turn 25 acres of their 200-acre farm into a magic pumpkin fairyland for kids and grownups of all ages.
Every year the Pawlowskis strive to add a new feature to their pumpkin kingdom. This year, Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillows, two giant, air-filled jumping pillows, will keep the kids bouncing with delight.
Another addition this year is helicopter rides. On October weekends, weather permitting, folks can enjoy helicopter rides to enjoy the vivid fall foliage from above.
Annual favorites include hayrides, the corn cannon, Goat Mountain, the cow train, gem mining, Storyland, a 6-acre corn maze, petting zoo, singing animatronic chickens and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Don’t feel like picking your own? Then select from over a dozen varieties of picked and sorted pumpkins.
All Things Pumpkin
Pumpkinville may be famous for its activities, but pumpkin junkies come for a fix of their favorite pumpkin-infused foods.
Homemade pumpkin bread, a huge pie assortment including the standard pumpkin, homemade pumpkin ice cream, as well as old-fashioned kettle corn, caramel sauce and caramel apples, jams, maple products, homemade peanut butters, almond butter and more are available. This year, two new flavors — butterscotch and strawberry — join the rest of their popular homemade fudge flavors.
The Pumpkinville Grill, Chicken BBQ, Ice Cream Factory, and Di’s Pies & Bake Shoppe all offer festival favorites including like hot dogs, chili, Italian sausage, been on weck, curly fries, and a few seasonal favorites like pumpkin soup.
But topping this list are Pumpkinville’s famous, freshly made pumpkin donuts. According to Dan, their donuts are famous across the country.
In addition to a wide assortment of pumpkins, Pumpkinville offers a variety of apples to take home in bags or bushels. While you’re there, visit the 1870s antique cider mill and watch how fresh cider is made. Then buy some to take home!
Pumpkinville has seven shops, including the newly renovated Boo-tique, offering everything from fudge, fresh apples, souvenirs, seasonal wreaths, painted pumpkins, baked goods and more. And now you can order your favorite items online at www.pumpkinville.myshopify.com.
Get ready for a weekend of pink on Sept. 22–22. Yes, you can purchase pink pumpkins here! The Pawlowskis have grown them specifically as a fundraiser for the WNY Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Whenever you purchase a pink pumpkin, Pumpkinville will donate a portion of the proceeds to that organization. You can even buy pink T-shirts, pink fudge, pink ice cream, pink apples and more.
Pumpkinville is located just minutes from Ellicottville at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley. It’s open every day from Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Admission is free with minimal fees for some of the special attractions. Go to www.pumpkinville.com or call (716) 699-2205 for more information.
And remember to bring your camera. There are photo opportunities everywhere you and your family will want to capture!