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Armed Forces Weekend, dinosaurs in corn maze & ventriloquists highlight opening weekend of 22nd annual Fall Festival at Great Pumpkin Farm


Mon, Sep 11th 2017 03:00 pm
The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence will kick off its 22nd annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to dusk Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17, with a special Armed Forces weekend, in collaboration with WNY Heroes Inc. The regular admission fee will be waived for military, police or fire department personnel who present proper identification to WNY Heroes representatives at the gate. Such attendees will also be permitted to bring one guest for free.
The first 200 military, police or fire personnel through the gates on opening weekend will receive a "goodie bag" that will include gifts from The Great Pumpkin Farm, WNY Heroes and festival sponsors. A special happy hour will take place at the Witches Brew Bar & Cafe (inside the Pumpkin Palace) from 2-5 p.m. both days. There will be live music, and a military veteran will serve as bartender. All tips will go directly to WNY Heroes.
The event will include the corn maze, hay maze, magic show, "Boo Barn" and amusement rides. Guests can also purchase pumpkins, gourds, mums and stalks, and visit the bakery for freshly baked pies, cookies and pastries, plus candy and cider.
Other special attractions this opening weekend of the Fall Festival include:
•The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library's bookmobile (Library on Wheels).  From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, festival guests can check out library materials, apply for a library card, enjoy children's' crafts and participate in story times throughout the day
•Sylvia Fletcher & Friends starring in "Ventastic!" This comedy ventriloquism show takes place both days at 12:30, 3 and 4 p.m., and is free with festival admission.
•"Dinosaurs in the Cornmaze," Vinnie and Teddy, will roam the cornmaze looking for their prey. Feeding time is noon to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $6 (with a $1-off coupon included with festival admission; children ages 2 and under admitted free)
•"Magic by Mike & Annie" is full of comedy and audience participation opportunities. Show times both days are 11:30 a.m., 1, 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free with festival admission
The Great Pumpkin Farm is open from 10 a.m. to dusk weekdays from Monday, Sept. 18, through Tuesday, Oct. 31 (closing time is 5 p.m. on Halloween) The Pumpkin Palace is open and features Halloween decorations, a bakery and candy store, as well as the Witches Brew Bar & Cafe. Guests can purchase pumpkins; cornstalks; gourds; apples and cider. There's also a petting zoo, hay maze and playground. Group tours are also conducted during the week.
Admission to the Fall Festival is $7 per person (children ages 2 and under admitted free) Discounted tickets are available at all Buffalo and Rochester-area Wegmans.
The Great Pumpkin Farm is located at 11199 Main St., Clarence, and features plenty of free, onsite parking. Complete event information is available at www.greatpumpkinfarm.com. The 2017 Fall Festival guide is available at all Wegmans locations and online at http://www.guide.greatpumpkinfarm.com.
About the Great Pumpkin Farm and Fall Festival
The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence has grown since 1996, when it first hosted the World Pumpkin Weigh-off and was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the first 1,000-pound pumpkin. Its annual Fall Festival includes popular events such as OINKtoberfest, New York state's Official BBQ Cookoff; the Pumpkin Trebuchet competition and the Pumpkin Farm Olympics. For more information on the Great Pumpkin Farm and its Fall Festival, visit www.greatpumpkinfarm.com.

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