Eagle Ranch hosts annual Pumpkin Patch party on Saturday, Oct. 10 | VailDaily.com

Eagle Ranch hosts annual Pumpkin Patch party on Saturday, Oct. 10

Families pick their way through the Eagle Ranch Pumpkin Patch. The annual event is back this Saturday at the Brush Creek Park.
Daily file photo |

If you go ...

What: Eagle Ranch Pumpkin Patch.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.

Where: Brush Creek Park, 909 Capitol St., Eagle.

Cost: Pick a pumpkin for $5.

More information: Visit www.eagleranchhoa.com.

EAGLE — Every fall when it comes time for the Eagle Ranch Pumpkin Patch, Erin Vega places an order for 500 orange orbs.

By noon on the day of the event, they have all found homes.

But picking a pumpkin is only part of the fun planned for today. The Eagle Ranch Pumpkin Patch also features a bunch of family-friendly activities that give various local nonprofit organizations the chance to earn a few dollars.

The event has been building steam since the advent of Eagle Ranch.

“It’s so much fun seeing everyone come out,” said Vega, manager of the Eagle Ranch Homeowners Association. “It’s such a great community gathering, and the kids all show up in their Halloween costumes.”

Sunshine Mountain Preschool, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, the Eagle Community Gardens, Eagle Valley Middle School football and local Girl Scouts all provide activities and earn money as part of the pumpkin-patch event. That wasn’t the original plan, but it has turned into a winning combination.

Each year, Vega places her pumpkin order with a farmer from Delta, and the grassy area next to the Brush Creek Pavilion serves as a one-day patch.

“About nine years ago, the pumpkin patch was snowed out,” Vega said. Organizers scrambled to see if they could host the event the following weekend and learned that Sunshine Mountain Preschool had booked the pavilion for a fundraiser. They asked if they could combine the events, and the school agreed.

“That’s how that marriage was made,” Vega said.

This Saturday, Sunshine Mountain Preschool will offer unlimited bouncey castle time for $10.

Likewise, a few years back, the Eagle Ranch Association partnered with the Eagle Community Gardens to use the actual pumpkin part of the patch event as its annual fundraiser. It costs $5 to pick a pumpkin.

‘I’ll Take Two’

“Sometimes, the farmer sends us some 25-pound pumpkins that we can barely carry. We charge $10 for those,” Vega said. “The dads all see them and say, ‘No way,’ and the moms say, ‘I’ll take two.’”

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue offers $5 pony rides, and the Girl Scouts have a build-your-own scarecrow booth, along with a bake sale. The Dusty Boot will be offering hot dogs and pulled-pork sandwiches for sale.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a haunted house tour. For the past 10 years, the EVMS football program has happily haunted the historic Eagle Ranch barn. Organizers say Saturday’s tours are planned to delight, not to terrify. The Haunted Barn will be back, in scarier fashion, on Friday, Oct. 30.

Saturday’s list of activities also includes music, face painting, a photo booth and pumpkin chunkin’. The chunkin’ will take place on the soccer field and costs $1 per pumpkin. Anyone who can hit the set-up target will take home a $20 prize.