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W_-_pumpkin_patch_DSCF7262_copySelecting that perfect pumpkin can be a daunting task when there are thousands from which to choose.  The First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch on U.S. Highway 441 in Alachua is in full swing throughout the month of October.

ALACHUA – If you’re craving pumpkin, First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch might just be for you.

With the fall season in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to get in the spirit than now.  And nothing says ‘fall’ better than pumpkins.

Whether for carving into jack-o-lanterns, baking in a pie or simmering in a stew, pumpkins of every kind are available.

The 12th annual Pumpkin Patch, located on U.S. Highway 441 north of Hitchcock’s Market, is open for business Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

The pumpkin patch was opened Sept. 26, and it will be open until the end of October. Prices for pumpkins range from $1 to $50, depending on the size.  There are 2,500 pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, and more will be added mid-October.

First United Methodist Church Pastor Lamar Albritton said the pumpkin patch is a youth fundraiser, but it’s also a ministry.

“It’s a church-wide effort,” he said. “The body of Christ works together.”

Members of the church volunteer to man the pumpkin patch, and Albritton said the church has prayed the event will go smoothly.

He said the church welcomes everyone who visits the pumpkin patch, regardless of whether they’re buying pumpkins or just stopping by to enjoy the vast display of the colorful gourds.

“We try to reflect Jesus Christ through how we welcome people,” he said.

He said some people have joined the church after visiting the pumpkin patch.

“They said the reason they came is because they felt so welcomed out there,” he said.

Every child who visits the pumpkin patch will receive a free gift.

“We try to reach the children in a special way,” Albritton said.

Money raised from the patch are the main source of funding for the church’s youth mission trip. Students will travel to the Appalachian Mountains and partner with the Appalachia Service Project to help repair homes. Other churches from around the country will also help with the project. Albritton said it’s a good experience because it combines hard labor and building relationships with people.

“We’re there to love them,” he said.

The money will also help fund summer camps and other youth events.

The public is also invited to attend a fall festival Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. The event is free to everyone and will include free food, a bounce house, a hay bale maze,  hayrides and numerous other activities.

“Come and join a family friendly, fun atmosphere,” Albritton said.

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email astewart@alachuatoday.com

W_-_pumpkin_patch_DSCF7262_copySelecting that perfect pumpkin can be a daunting task when there are thousands from which to choose.  The First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch on U.S. Highway 441 in Alachua is in full swing throughout the month of October.

ALACHUA – If you’re craving pumpkin, First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch might just be for you.

With the fall season in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to get in the spirit than now.  And nothing says ‘fall’ better than pumpkins.

Whether for carving into jack-o-lanterns, baking in a pie or simmering in a stew, pumpkins of every kind are available.

The 12th annual Pumpkin Patch, located on U.S. Highway 441 north of Hitchcock’s Market, is open for business Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

The pumpkin patch was opened Sept. 26, and it will be open until the end of October. Prices for pumpkins range from $1 to $50, depending on the size.  There are 2,500 pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, and more will be added mid-October.

First United Methodist Church Pastor Lamar Albritton said the pumpkin patch is a youth fundraiser, but it’s also a ministry.

“It’s a church-wide effort,” he said. “The body of Christ works together.”

Members of the church volunteer to man the pumpkin patch, and Albritton said the church has prayed the event will go smoothly.

He said the church welcomes everyone who visits the pumpkin patch, regardless of whether they’re buying pumpkins or just stopping by to enjoy the vast display of the colorful gourds.

“We try to reflect Jesus Christ through how we welcome people,” he said.

He said some people have joined the church after visiting the pumpkin patch.

“They said the reason they came is because they felt so welcomed out there,” he said.

Every child who visits the pumpkin patch will receive a free gift.

“We try to reach the children in a special way,” Albritton said.

Money raised from the patch are the main source of funding for the church’s youth mission trip. Students will travel to the Appalachian Mountains and partner with the Appalachia Service Project to help repair homes. Other churches from around the country will also help with the project. Albritton said it’s a good experience because it combines hard labor and building relationships with people.

“We’re there to love them,” he said.

The money will also help fund summer camps and other youth events.

The public is also invited to attend a fall festival Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. The event is free to everyone and will include free food, a bounce house, a hay bale maze,  hayrides and numerous other activities.

“Come and join a family friendly, fun atmosphere,” Albritton said.

#     #     #

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