HIDALGO - You may have seen the cute pumpkin patch selfies of your friends or families on social media looking as if they came off from Pinterest. Well good news because now you can take some Instagrammable, Pinterest-esque selfies too! St. Mark United Methodist Church’s pumpkin patch is finally here and opened to everyone.
What started 30 years ago as a fundraiser for the church’s Eagle Scout Project of Boy Scout Troop 7, turned into a fall tradition serving St. Mark UMC’s programs and RGV community.
Jessica Sargent-Flores currently operates the pumpkin patch along with her son Christian Sargent-Flores and other volunteers to get the patch Instagrammable ready and running efficiently.
“We never turn away volunteers,” said Jessica Sargent Flores, St Mark UMC Children's Director, Pumpkin Patch Coordinator. “Every year Memorial ROTC helps us unload our pumpkin truck and this year we also had groups from two IDEA schools and STC PTA program.”
The pumpkin patch had its unloading day Saturday, Sept. 28, receiving all 13,000 pumpkins from a troop of Native Americans in New Mexico. All pumpkins range in sizes from tennis balls to dodgeball size for the perfect fall decor and family pics.
“Something new we started doing was charging a dollar entrance fee for adults,” said Christian Flores-Sargent. “They are handed a ticket and can be redeemable if wanting to purchase a pumpkin which range in price depending on the size, and could get a dollar off that pumpkin.”
Everything earned from the pumpkin patch will go towards the church’s ministries, youth program, children’s program and preschool program for funding they need throughout the year.
Leftover pumpkins from the patch are distributed to the community so nothing goes to waste.
“After October 31st, pumpkins that are left behind are distributed between a few schools that have asked for pumpkin donations and farmers for their animals,” said Jessica Sargent-Flores. “I hear cows and chickens love smashed pumpkin,” she adds.
The pumpkin patch opened Sunday, Sept. 29 and is available Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. till the end of October.
The church will also have their annual Halloween festival Friday, Oct. 18 from 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., free to the public and will have food, games etc,. using .25 cent purchases of tickets each for all to enjoy.