Pumpkins plentiful in area

With cooler temperatures, leaves falling and Halloween approaching, the festive gourd is in its full glory and are plentiful in the area.
Pumpkins, which are a fall favorite, can be purchased at many area vendors and grocery stores to decorate, carve, paint and bake.
One local pumpkin seller, The Pumpkin Patch, on County Road 25A in Wapakoneta, has been in business since 2001, and have sold more than just pumpkins at their stand on the Steinke Farm.
They sell painted bales, corn shocks, gourds, squash, mums, wheat bundles, painted pumpkins and regular pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
“I enjoy meeting all of the people and spending time with Dennis and Donna (Steinke),” co-founder of The Pumpkin Patch Angie Helmstetter said.
Helmstetter and her husband, Gary, and her brother, Dennis, and his wife, Donna Steinke, formed the family business 10 years ago.
Not only do they sell pumpkins and fall decorations, they have a feature to the stand, The Great Pumpkin, which is a replica of a “pumpkin man,” made with painted bales of hay.
Helmstetter said that many people stop by and get a photo with this.
The Pumpkin Patch hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.
Another county pumpkin stand is the Green Thumb Farm Market, which is located at the intersection of Southland Road and State Route 66, outside of New Bremen.
They carry fruits, vegetables, mums, Amish country popcorn, maple syrup and honey along with a wide assortment of pumpkins, which are spread out in a large grass area on the lot.
Their hours are 10 a.m. to dusk on Monday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Local grocers, Community Market and Wal-Mart, also carry festive fall decorations, including pumpkins and mums.
A few fall activities that can be done with pumpkins are painting faces or Halloween scenes on them with paint, or carve them and adorn them with a light, or they can be used to prepare homemade pumpkin pie.
When opting to paint a design on a pumpkins, the best paint to use is acrylic, because this will not wash away in the rain. Also, permanent markets may be used instead of paint.
The pumpkin should be washed off gently before beginning the painting process. Also, smooth pumpkins, without too many bumps, will be easier to paint on, according to about.com.
While carving a pumpkin, a large circle or hexagon should be outlined on the top, around the stem, and cut, to removed the top and extract the seeds and pulp. A pattern can be drawn on the face with a marker and then a large knife blade can be used to cut through the skin. The edges can be coated with cooking oil to keep the jack-o-lantern fresh, according to ehow.com
Finally, a votive candle or light can be placed in the pumpkin to create a glow at night.

Local Fall Events:

Wapakoneta Halloween Parade
• The Halloween Costume Contest is scheduled for 6 p.m. in front of the announcing stand on East Auglaize Street in downtown Wapakoneta. The Wapakoneta Halloween Parade is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds, travel east on Auglaize Street and end at the CSX Railroad tracks.

• Mayor Rodney Metz has declared trick-or-treat will be celebrated from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Wapakoneta KAPOW Zombie Walk
• The Wapakoneta Zombie Walk sponsored by KAPOW is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Heritage Park in downtown Wapakoneta.