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Central Coast pumpkin patches welcome guests with COVID-19 precautions in place

Posted at 8:48 PM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-27 02:54:12-04

Attending the pumpkin patch is a fall favorite for many families, but picking a pumpkin this year will require wearing a mask and keeping your distance.

People lined up for the opening of the Avila Valley Barn's pumpkin patch Saturday.

Guests can expect COVID-19 precautions at seasonal places this year.

“Honestly we were super excited to find a pumpkin patch that was open during this time," said Sara Sanchez, a Bakersfield resident.

The pumpkin patch is operating at half capacity this year, allowing for 30 people at a time within the fruit stand and 225 people on the premise.

“We’re trying to just space people out, keep everybody safe, but allow them to kind of have their classic fall experience," Avila Valley Barn General Manager Raven Lukehart said.

Attractions like the hay and pony ride were cut due to COVID-19 restrictions, and at the barn, people are asked to keep a cow's distance, at least 10 feet, from one another.

“I feel safe," Virginia Gomez, a Bakersfield resident said. "You can see everybody has their masks on."

The barn requires masks within the fruit stand as well.

“Our staff is alerting everyone as they come in to kind of avoid touching something unless they’re going to buy it," Lukehart said.

In Santa Barbara County, Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch experienced their busiest grand opening on Friday.

Pumpkins are spread out this year to increase distancing among pumpkin pickers.

"It’s hard to monitor who’s touching what," Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch owner Steve Jacobson said. "They can walk around them and look at them rather than having to pick them up and spin them around.”

The farm's 10-acre corn maze is in operation this fall, but has expanded pathways from four feet to ten feet wide.

Jacobson said the pumpkin patch is considering having a nighttime maze on Halloween.

Other pumpkin patches on the Central Coast are expected to open by October 1st.