It’s time to pick out that perfect pumpkin to celebrate October and you can do just that starting today at The Bridge Church in Odessa’s Fourth Annual Fall Pumpkin Patch throughout October.
The patch, which is located outside the church on 3901 E. Yukon Road, will open to the public at 1 p.m. today and remain open throughout the month.
The hours for the pumpkin patch are 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.
Assistant Pastor at The Bridge Church Kelby Davis said more than 4,000 pumpkins were scheduled to be delivered to the patch this year.
“It’s literally an 18-wheeler truck that’s full of pumpkins,” Davis said. “These pumpkins range from cute little pumpkins to large pumpkins. We have some that are called our fantasy pumpkins. They’re different colors and different shapes.”
The pumpkins come from a Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico.
One half of the proceeds from the pumpkin patch go towards the church’s Bridge Kids Ministry.
“It allows us to serve kids in our community through various needs and programs and events,” Davis said.
The other half goes to the West Texas Food Bank.
Last year, the church was able to donate $4,000 to the West Texas Food Bank, which was enough to provide 16,000 meals to people in the community.
“We’re really proud to partner with the West Texas Food Bank on this project,” Davis said.
The pumpkin patch is run by members of The Bridge Church on a volunteer basis.
“It takes families and community members to come serve in the patch for us to keep it going,” Davis said.
Davis emphasized that volunteer positions are available to anyone in the community, not just members of the church.
“That’s always a good thing,” Davis said. “If people need volunteer hours for their schools or different organizations that require volunteer hours, serving in the patch is a good way to do that. We’re always happy to sign off on those volunteer slips.”
It takes a couple hundred volunteers about two to three hours to unload the pumpkins.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Davis said. “The pumpkins arrive at 8:45 a.m. and it’s usually pretty timely because a lot of times these trucks are making multiple stops delivering pumpkins. We should start unloading at about 9 a.m. and we’re usually finished by 11 a.m.”
In previous years, different elementary schools and daycares would do field trips to the pumpkin patch.
Last year, that was not the case due to COVID.
However, Davis says that this year, they are once again allowing schools to come by the pumpkin patch on field trips.
“Another big thing is that before COVID, we loved that different elementary schools and daycares would come out to our patch and we’d read them stories and talk to the kids about the pumpkin patch,” Davis said. “Last year, we weren’t able to do that because of COVID. We would really love to do that this year, even though we know the school districts might have some restrictions. But if any daycares or private schools want to do a field trip to our patch, we will give the kiddos stickers to decorate their pumpkins. We love to host field trips.”
Last year, the patch sold out its pumpkins before Halloween.
Davis urges people to buy their pumpkins early in the month.
“In the past years, we didn’t have a lot of inventory left after but last year we actually sold out a few days before Halloween,” Davis said. “That’s good to know and if people want to shop at our patch, we encourage them to get out there early in the month of October so that they have their best pick of the pumpkins.”
Davis says that while there’s still a pandemic going on, it’s still safe to come out.
“We want to let people know that it’s safe,” Davis said. “We know COVID is still crazy but the patch is a fun, safe family opportunity. We really love to see families coming out and taking pictures and buying pumpkins for school projects. It seems like every one of my friends and their kids have to decorate a pumpkin for a school project. We encourage families and organizations.”
If you go
- What: The Bridge Church Fall Pumpkin Patch.
- Where: The Bridge Church, located on 3901 E. Yukon Road.
- When: Opens today at 1 p.m. and will be open 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.