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Rotary pumpkin patch draws crowds from throughout county, Canada
SMOKEY POINT — The Smokey Point Plant Farm is attracting attendees from throughout Snohomish County, and even Canada, through the Marysville Rotary's annual "Pumpkins for Literacy" program this month.
Erica and Steven Morgan now live in Lynnwood, but Erica grew up in Marysville. This was her first year at the Rotary's pumpkin patch, since she and her husband Steven have 3-month-old twin boys, Aaron and Riley.
"I wanted to start a new family tradition for our two little pumpkins," Erica Morgan said. "I drove by on the freeway before, but I never realized this was such a big event."
Lake Stevens native Kandice Long has been bringing her 7-year-old daughter, Madison, to the Rotary pumpkin patch for the past four years, in part to support the Rotary's literacy programs. Madison joined her friends, Delaney and Daylee Peterson, in picking out pumpkins.
"If you get one that's round like a ball, you can scoop it out like ice cream," said Delaney, whose sister Daylee prefers her pumpkins "not too big."
"I look to make sure they don't have brown stuff on their sides," said Madison, pointing to scars on some of the pumpkins.
Stanwood's Darby Hepper, another former Marysville resident, has brought his family out to the pumpkin patch for at least seven of the past 10 years, since before his 5-year-old son, Mack, was born. His 7-year-old daughter, Maddy, looks forward to carving her jack-o'-lantern, and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty scooping out pumpkin innards.
"I look for the pumpkin with the scariest size," Maddy said.
"It's easy to pick your pumpkins out here," Darby Hepper said. "You don't have to go through muck."
Kim Welton's family hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, and was camping in Lake Goodwin when they happened upon the pumpkin patch.
"These are nice pumpkins, but we can't take them across the border," Welton said. "This patch is very clean and well laid-out. Our hometown could take some notes."
Marysville Rotary already ordering more pumpkins for its patch
By Kirk Boxleitner
SMOKEY POINT — Marysville Rotary "Pumpkin Czar" Kelly Richards reported that business was booming during this year's first weekend of the Marysville Rotary's annual "Pumpkins for Literacy" program, Oct. 9-11 at the Smokey Point Plant Farm.
"We brought in about 35,000 pounds of pumpkins just to start with," Richards said Oct. 12. "Of course, we don't sell pumpkins by the pound, but we've sold about a third of those already, just this weekend. In fact, I'm about to order more pumpkins right now," he laughed.
Richards touted the weekend's warm, sunny weather as one factor that benefitted attendance, and complimented the Smokey Point Plant Farm for the fact that "the field is in as good a shape as it's ever been" for the Rotary's pumpkin patch. In addition to the pumpkins themselves, he touted the event's hay rides, train rides, bouncy houses and animal farm, the latter of which is being provided by the Future Farmers of America.
"With the shorter school days coming up for Marysville students, I hope to see some of them coming out here during the days," Richards said.
Pumpkins for Literacy raises funds for the Marysville, Lakewood and Arlington school districts to promote school literacy. It also raises enough money to purchase hard-bound dictionaries for every third-grade student throughout the school districts. This year, Pumpkins for Literacy donated $4,000 to the Marysville Custodial Department Committee to fund the printing of nearly 200 copies of "The Happy Custodian," a children's book about custodians written, illustrated and edited by Marysville School District custodians.
Large groups can book tours through the Rotary pumpkin patch by calling North County Bank at 360-659-7100.
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