NEW ULM - Despite rain and cold weather Sunday, Pumpkinfest filled parking lots in and around the Ron and Karen Domeier farm three miles west of New Ulm.
Created to raise money for New Ulm Area Catholic Schools (NUACS), the event is especially popular with children who pick out their Halloween pumpkins at Domeier's farm.
"We were pretty packed again. The parking lots were pretty full. People parked on the road shoulder," Ron Domeier said, waiting for children to climb into "train" cars that trailed a garden tractor he drove around his property.
Staff photos by Fritz Busch
Despite cool, wet weather Sunday, Pumpkinfest drew hundreds of people including these pumpkin and gourd seekers to the Ron and Karen Domeier farm west of New Ulm off County Road 27. Created to benefit New Ulm Area Catholic Schools, other attractions were a corn maze, petting zoo, live music, food stand, country store, pumpkin rolling contest and more.
Rain picked up in intensity at times as kids rolled pumpkins down a long hill behind the Domeier farmyard. Others played other kids games, strolled scarecrow alley through the woods, towards the start of a corn maze.
Adults looked over gourds and more than 1,000 pumpkins, listened to live music, shopped at a country store and ate Happy Joe's pizza, hot dogs, cotton candy, homemade pies and more.
Retired District Court Judge and former Republican Minnesota House Minority Leader Terry Dempsey of New Ulm said he's attended every Pumpkinfest.
"This is by far the toughest weather I've dealt with at Pumpkinfest," Dempsey said. "I told people it was time to stop praying for rain as it poured at times."
Domeier said he will continue to sell pumpkins from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Friday at his farm this week until the supply is gone. The Domeiers will host their Haunted Corn Maze from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday night, Oct. 12.
"Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters, we've been successful with this each year. We couldn't do it without them," Karen Domeier said. "Thank goodness sponsors donated tents to use this year."