Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut

“We have every single attraction a Fall Festival and a Pumpkintown can offer,” Eric Anderson promised while he and the Pumpkintown Team added a few finishing touches to their 53-acre farm-country project in Busti last week. “And best of all, nobody has to pile the kids in the car for an hour or two just to get here.” This brand new Pumpkintown is coming to Busti this year every weekend in October.

Pumpkintown opens every Saturday and Sunday in October from 10 in the morning until six in the evening at 3435 Baker St. extension. The Great Tire Dragon awaits in the meadow along Baker between Trask Road and the Pumpkintown sign to welcome kids K through 8th grade, parents, grandparents and everyone else.

Admission is $10 per person, half price for 65 or older. Children two years and under enter free. Veterans with military ID also enjoy free admission, Anderson added. “We’re glad to just open our doors and welcome them.”

Games, Rides and More!

Spread across some of Chautauqua County’s most beautiful farm country, Pumpkintown will feature a Carnival game row, water pump duck races, a hay maze, pony rides, a cow-train ride and a tractor-pulled hayride around the whole “punkin’ patch,” and that’s just for starters. “Every attraction has something to do with the world of agriculture,” Anderson said. “If a kid thinks corn comes from a can, corn growing on stalks in the 3-acre Corn Maze will be a real fun eye-opener.”

Even the Earth has something to offer at Pumpkintown, according to Anderson. Gem mining for real gemstones in special, natural treasure gravel shipped in from the hills of North Carolina offers kids a chance to find their own, real gemstones to take home.

A huge slide down Pumpkintown’s hillside is sure to excite the kids, too. “We’re all parents ourselves,” Anderson said, speaking for the entire organizing team, “and we’re excited to offer the kids and the community everything they expect.”

Many local community groups are also taking part in this October event in support of worthy causes. The Explosion Cheer Team will perform with over 250 youth, the Falconer Cub Scouts will be selling water and 50-50 tickets to raise money at the event with a live chainsaw carver, the Lakewood Boy Scouts, local 4H, and the Cherry Grove VFD K9 Search Team will also take part, along with many others. The Humane Society promises to bring their cutest kittens for adoption and a Halloween Costume contest promises three $100 prizes and three $50 prizes. 

Cire Anderson, Brent Genberg, and Riley Anderson getting ready for Pumpkintown’s 1st Annual Halloween Costume Contest

Fun Food

“Nobody goes home hungry from Pumpkintown,” Anderson said. Home cooked Italian sausage, Philly cheese steaks, hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries and Busti apple cider are only a few of the items on the menu. Fowler’s Taffy will be on hand as well, along with What’s Poppin’ Popcorn.

Home Country Attractions

“Most of Pumpkintown’s organizers grew up on a farm and have a great interest in the outdoors,” Anderson explained. “I’m the 4th generation on the Anderson Family Farm, and I’ll never leave it.” The other organizers include Eric’s wife, Ashley, Jason and Nicole Genberg, and Marshal and Sarah Minor.

“We’ve thought about Pumpkintown for years but we’ve been working on it non-stop since the end of June,” Anderson said. “Each member of our team has special talents and skills that they developed through their own life’s experience, and they brought them all here.”

“We don’t want to let anybody down,” he added. “We even have some things nobody else has, like the 12 foot tall giant hay bale Teddy Bear and our Great Tire Dragon that greets everybody who drives along Baker Street.”

Next Year’s Punkin’ Patch

“As for next year, we’ll surely be here, and who knows what new will come along. Ideas grow,” Anderson said. “It will be determined by the response of the community. We’re listening for guests to say, ‘You know what I’d like to see?’ or ‘Consider this for next year.’ Some of those will be great ideas.” The proceeds will go toward making Pumpkintown self-supporting. The organizers want to give back more to the community than just supporting the venue.

Next year, according to Anderson, they are going to attempt to grow “The Giant Pumpkin” and shoot for beating the biggest pumpkin ever grown locally, by Andy Scalese. His topped out at 1800 pounds. “Andy is going to provide the seeds and the know-how. This is an opportunity to pass the torch to a younger generation,” Anderson explained.

Learn More

Eric Anderson and his friends invite Jamestown Gazette readers to visit Pumpkintown on Facebook or communicate questions and comments at punpkintownwny.com. Best of all, just stop in at 3435 Baker St. extension on any Saturday or Sunday in October.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.