Marysville Rotary kicks off annual Pumpkins for Literacy

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.”

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