By Mike Hazlip—
Another October has come and gone, and the once-popular Pumpkin Farm attraction on Old Auburn Road has remained shuttered.
Gates to the decades-old Pumpkin Farm have not opened to the public since the family-run property suspended operations during the COVID pandemic shutdowns in September 2020.
Now, more than three years after the last posted announcement, the Pumpkin Farm at 7736 Auburn Rd. has permanently closed with no information about future plans.
The farm’s last public update online was on Sept. 30, 2020, when the family said the farm would not open “due to current restrictions” during the pandemic. Comments on the post express sadness over the closure of the farm, along with questions about whether it will reopen.
Multiple emails and phone calls to members of the Shymoniak family have not been returned. Signage at the street has been removed, and old farm equipment can be seen laid out inside the fenced lot.
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.
With a PhD in Educational Administration from UCLA, Shymoniak spent his career in education, serving as principal of a high school in Peace River before working as a senior financial analyst in the chancellors office of the Community College System until 1999 when he retired. according to information from Legacy.com.
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.
After his death, Councilwoman Jayna Karpinski-Costa wrote a remembrance of Shymoniak that was published in The Sentinel, calling him “humble, unpretentious, not needing fanfare, no chest thumping. A quiet, gentle giant, devout in all his beliefs and dedicated in all his commitments, who loved his community, children and animals.”
By Mike Hazlip—
Another October has come and gone, and the once-popular Pumpkin Farm attraction on Old Auburn Road has remained shuttered...
Thanks for reading The Sentinel. You are either trying to access subscribers-only content or you have reached your limit of 4 free articles per 30 days. Click here to sign in or subscribe.