For Amy Contreras, going to a pumpkin patch every fall is a tradition she loves doing with her family.
“I would’ve felt sad if we missed out on it this year,” Contreras said. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 33,000 residents in the county and killed nearly 2,000 people, the county released local orders to cancel traditional Halloween activities such as haunted houses and trick-or-treating.
A visit to pumpkin patches, which are held outdoors, is an activity that is continuing this fall.
Contreras, her husband Jorge and their 4-year-old son, were among the hundreds of people who visited the pumpkin patch located on the corner of Bryan Road and Business 83.
The pumpkin patch is located on a six-acre property owned by TLC Pharmacy owner and Mission city councilman Beto Vela and is currently littered in over 600 pumpkins and several antique vehicles and booths to provide photo opportunities for the families visiting the patch.
“A lot of pumpkin patches I go to aren’t open this year because of the pandemic but I feel comfortable here,” Contreras said. “We’re all spaced out and come here and not worry about a large crowd, it’s a good turnout.”
The pumpkin patch was opened by county planning inspector Beto Garza and Mission school board members Jerry Zamora, Charlie Garcia, and school board candidate Roy Vela.
“Since families have been cooped up at their house for months and I’ve seen other pumpkin patches in the area, I wanted to do something big and we’ve never had one here in Mission so we put this together,” Garza said.
The pumpkin patch opened earlier this month and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Saturday, Nov. 7 Those attending the patch must wear a face mask unless eating or taking photos, maintain social distancing and use the hand sanitizers that are spread out throughout the patch.
“It’s important to be in touch with local families so we can see them enjoy this,” Garza said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s been fun bringing this together as we introduce ourselves to families so they can feel comfortable coming to us to express concerns.”
Palmview resident Alicia Requenez visited the pumpkin patch with some of her friends. She said she’s already visited pumpkin patches in cities such as Dallas and Houston.
“This might be my favorite one,” Requenez said. “I’m not worried about COVID but I’m glad this is being done safely.”