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By Mike Hazlip—
A sign welcoming guests to the Pumpkin Farm on Old Auburn Road has been taken down, and an empty field now remains behind a locked gate.
The Pumpkin Farm at 7736 Auburn Rd. closed last season for the first time in 46 years amid the pandemic, and there are no signs of reopening this season either.
The farm’s main phone number goes to a voicemail that is full, its website loads only an error page, and the last post on the farm’s social media page is an announcement from September 2020. Attempts to reach the farm’s family owners by email and social media on Tuesday yielded no response by press time Thursday.
Joyce McGeary, who rents a home next door to the Pumpkin Farm’s back acreage, told The Sentinel in an interview this week that she had worked at the farm in past years. She said there are no plans to reopen and was “shocked” to see the sign taken down.
McGeary said her home next door to the farm is one of several houses owned by the Shymoniak family in addition to the pumpkin patch itself. She said she has enjoyed having the open space next door, and the family has allowed her to use part of the farm for her own garden.
The farm had opened each October since 1974, when farmer Leonard Shymoniak first opened the attraction. Shymoniak passed away in 2017, but his children and grandchildren continued operations in following years.
The Pumpkin Farm had grown to draw more than 10,000 visitors each October for a month-long “farm experience,” annually featuring corn maze activities, farm animals, a 30-foot tower slide, haunted barn, hayrides and more. Many of the farm’s visitors came from school field trips, which was a factor the farm cited last year as a reason not opening for the 2020 season.
“We regret to announce that the Pumpkin Farm will remain closed this October 2020,” the farm said in a statement on its website last year. “This difficult decision is due to ongoing uncertainties for our operations around social distance rules as well as school field trips this Fall as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
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