MIDDLETOWN >> Fall family fun is in the air as the annual Pumpkin Days celebration returns to Tyler Arboretum on Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This two-day festival at Tyler is chock filled with family-friendly activities, games, demonstrations, performances and food, but also serves as Tyler’s largest public fundraiser of the year.
“We are always excited for this time of year,” said Amy Mawby, Director of Public Programs at Tyler Arboretum, “We arrange and organize for months ahead of the actual celebration to ensure Pumpkin Days is one of the best fall festivals in the region. I believe our members and visitors are in for a treat this year as we have upgraded some of the old favorites and added some new activities and entertainment.”
Indeed, this year’s lineup of demonstrations and activities has something for everyone on both days. From the classic hay rides, pumpkin patch, scarecrow making, arts and crafts and face painting, there is a variety of fun and entertainment. All proceeds go to Tyler Arboretum and its educational and conservation efforts. The 2014 Pumpkin Days will also offer a moon bounce and inflatable obstacle course, pumpkin carving demonstrations by William Rush Wood Carvers Club and glitter tattoos and hair extensions by Venus Beauty Academy. There will also be free games and activities.
Each day offers unique entertainment.
On Saturday, visitors can enjoy music by the Penncrest High School Roaring Lions Marching Band, the Greener Partners’ Farm Explorer, Stubby the Traveling Helicopter from the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, and balloon sculpting with Terrell Nelson of Kidz De’Light. The fun continues on Sunday with live Celtic music by Mary Roth, Jon the Bugman’s Creepy Critters, and Stubby the Helicopter and Terrell Nelson’s balloon sculpting will be back. Various games, a food court and more round out these fun-filled days.
“Pumpkin Days is one of our favorite events,” said Rick Colbert, Executive Director at Tyler. “We love to bring the community together in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere to appreciate a day outside. Everyone can delight in nature’s beautiful autumn setting while participating in engaging activities and enjoying the lively entertainment.”
All of the proceeds raised during Pumpkin Days go toward Tyler Arboretum’s general operating budget, thus making it possible to continue providing quality programs and classes while maintaining over 650 acres of natural areas.
Of course, this two-day festival is not possible without a generous amount of volunteer efforts.
“We value our volunteers for their hard work and dedication year-round. Still, Pumpkin Days is an event when we need all hands on deck,” said Julia Lo Ehrhardt, Volunteer Coordinator at Tyler. “We welcome anyone who is willing to lend a helping hand, regardless of skill or ability. One of the ways that volunteers help is by donating their delicious baked goods for the baked goods sale during the two-day Pumpkin Days event.”
More details regarding volunteering and the bake sale are available at www.TylerArboretum.org/volunteer. Links are provided there to sign up for Pumpkin Days volunteer roles and time slots, or prospective volunteers can contact Julia Lo Ehrhardt at
610-566-9134 ext. 205.
Free parking for Pumpkin Days is exclusively at the Penn State Brandywine campus on route 352, where visitors can catch the complimentary shuttle bus to and from Tyler Arboretum. Strollers are welcome on the shuttle. Parking at the Arboretum is reserved for handicapped parking.
Because this is a fundraising event, no free guest passes will be accepted on Oct. 18-19. Entry fees are $11 for non-member adults, $7 for non-member children, $4 for member adults, $2 for member children and all children under three years old are free. Some activities require tickets. Tickets and ticket packages will be available for purchase on site during Pumpkin Days.
Tyler Arboretum, one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, is an important community resource and cultural destination. Tyler provides a natural sanctuary for visitors interested in horticulture, history and the natural world. Its 650 acres of meadows, wetlands and unbroken forest can be enjoyed via over 17 miles of hiking trails.
Additional information is available at www.TylerArboretum.org.