Western Railway Museum's Pumpkin Patch Festival opens this weekend
Take a ride on a historic train and experience the joys of harvest and fall this month as the Western Railway Museum hosts its annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Gum Grove Station.
Celebrating its 17th year, this classic harvest festival is a highlight of autumn and for many in the region, a family tradition. The festival will open for its three-weekend run this Saturday and will entertain thousands of people, from small children to grandparents, every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 26.
Birds Landing is about as close as you can get to the Pumpkin Patch Festival. Local musician and long-time resident "Limber Jim" Bartz will open the 2014 Festival with three dates: October 11, 12, and 18. Known for authentic "old-timey" music, the Limber Jim Bartz Band captivates audiences with their fiddles, banjos, and hand-crafted dancing puppets.
The Pumpkin Patch Festival is a classic, down-home autumn festival, complete with hay rides, pumpkins (for sale and for chucking on an oversize sling-shot), and a massive straw bale fort. While many local fall fairs offer similar activities, only at the Western Railway Museum do visitors take a historic train to the secluded eucalyptus grove where the Festival takes place. It's a trip back in time that transports visitors far from the trappings of modern life.
The Western Railway Museum will open early at 9:30 a.m. for the Pumpkin Patch Festival. The first express train will leave the museum at 10 a.m., with departures every half-hour until 4p.m.. The ride on a historic, life-sized electrical-powered train takes visitors back in time 100 years on a scenic five-mile trip to Gum Grove Station, a wooded glen far from the trappings of modern life.
At Gum Grove, guests can experience the huge hay bale fort, food, tractor rides, music, games and of course, pumpkins for sale.
It's a real community effort, with three individual Rotary Clubs (Fairfield-Suisun, Cordelia, and Dixon), students from Vanden High School, and 100 museum volunteers all rallying together to make the event a success.
Admission is just $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (65 and up), and $9 for children (ages 2 -14). Prices include entrance to the Western Railway Museum and to the Pumpkin Patch Festival, unlimited train rides, use of the museum's spacious and shaded picnic grounds, and free parking. Please note that there are no advanced reservations.
All proceeds benefit the Western Railway Museum (a nonprofit educational institution) and the local Rotary Clubs who re-grant thousands of dollars to our community and youth activities each year.
The Western Railway Museum is located at 5848 State Highway 12, Suisun City, CA 94585. It is on State Highway 12 in Solano County, 12 miles east of Interstate 80, halfway between Fairfield and Rio Vista.
For more information, visit www.wrm.org or call (707) 374-2978.