Popular pumpkin festival ready to welcome guests near Stafford

Tickets are selling fast for a popular Staffordshire farm pumpkin festival.

Anna Barton with some of the pumpkins grown for the festival
Anna Barton with some of the pumpkins grown for the festival

Canalside Farm in Great Haywood is preparing to hold its annual Pumpkin Festival, marking the fourth year the event has been held as one of the highlights of the farm's calendar.

More than 10,000 pumpkins have been grown for the event, with co-owner Anna Barton stating the farm had taken a leap of faith to grow the pumpkins during lockdown.

She said: "In order for the pumpkins to be ready for October, we had to plant them in June, so we had to take a huge leap of faith, as we weren’t sure if we’d be able to go ahead.

"We are delighted to be able to release the tickets and hope everyone will be able to come and enjoy themselves, in a safe and socially distanced way."

The festival will open earlier than normal this year due to coronavirus restrictions, with all those wishing to attend required to pre-book a timed ticket to help manage visitor numbers.

The event will open on Saturday, October 10, staying open throug out the weekend, then open from Wednesday to Sunday throughout October and each day during half-term.

All activities will be outside in the pumpkin field, with social distancing in place throughout, and Ms Barton said all care had been taken to help people feel safe.

She said: "We have taken every precaution to ensure families can enjoy all of these outdoor activities in a safe and controlled way.

"We have been running our PYO strawberries and raspberries across the summer and have successfully managed to keep visitors a safe distance apart, and have had some great feedback from our customers, so we know that these systems work."

The Pumpkin Festival opens at 10am on Saturday, October 10 at Canalside Farm Shop & Café, Mill Lane, Great Haywood, Stafford.

Tickets will cost £2 per person, with children under three entering for free, and can be pre-booked at their website.

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