Visitors flock to Gailís Pumpkin Patch on Sunday

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[October 16, 2020]    Sunday was a very exciting day for Dave and Gail Sasse, owners of Gailís Pumpkin Patch in rural Beason. The day was enormous for the small family owned business, as hundreds upon hundreds of people came to enjoy an afternoon on the farm.

Gailís offers so much variety and outdoor space that families could enjoy all the aspects of the patch without being crowded together in unsafe conditions.

Earlier this fall David Sasse talked about the concerns that had come to the farm due to the coronavirus. The couple had debated on what to do this year and how to do it. They eliminated some features that they knew would put people in close conditions, such as the horse drawn wagon rides around the farm and the tractor and wagon ride to the popcorn patch. They also closed the little red shed playhouse.

They established and posted their rules for coming inside the barn to visit the retail area, noting how many people could safely be inside the area at one time. And, they decided that they would close the patch on Tuesdays so that staff could do a thorough cleaning of the retail space.

On Sunday, the crowd was huge at the patch, but even so, it appeared that people were doing a pretty good job of spreading themselves out and keeping their distance from fellow shoppers who were not family or part of their group.

Face masks were not required outside, but had to be worn when entering the retail barn. It seemed that almost all of the customers respected that requirement, and even children were donning their masks when it was time to go inside.

Outside, there were plenty of activities for everyone. Children were enjoying the bumpy slide ride and of course, the barrel train was very popular with the younger kids.

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Each year, the cats and kittens are a very popular part of the patch experience, and this year there was an abundant supply of the furry four-legged critters. Grown cats were wondering at will, greeting guests and enjoying the many holds, hugs, and ear rubs from children and adults.

Inside the barn, but outside the retail area, there was a cage with small kittens that guests were permitted to visit, and even remove from the cage for a hold and hug.

At the patch, shoppers have the option to shop the wide variety of pre-picked pumpkins, or they could go to the patch and pick out their own pumpkin and cut it from the vine. Even that part of the patch was extremely busy on Sunday afternoon as many guests chose to have the more personal experience of choosing their pumpkin fresh from the field.

All in all, it was a great day at the pumpkin patch and brought back a feeling of normalcy that many people appear to be seeking right now. For the children in the crowd it was a happy day with freedom to run and play and enjoy life the way they should when they are young, with no worries and no restrictions.

[Nila Smith]


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