LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Pumpkin Fest opened its largest event yet to visitors on Saturday. The number of guests expected to tick up to 75,000 by the time the event closes its doors at the end of the month.
Lisa Beth Thomas, marketing director for the Texas Pumpkin Fest, said last year’s event hosted more than 50,000 guests, with the fest even getting congested at times.
“We just had so many people last year,” Thomas said. “It was a little crowded, so we wanted to make it bigger so kids could really run free.”
The fest is taking place at a new site this year. The pumpkin patch, amusement rides and vendors setting up on five acres of land, double the size of previous festivals, said Thomas.
Along with accommodating more people, Thomas said the fest had concerns about inflation and the ongoing drought interfering with the price and availability of pumpkins.
“It’s been a really tough year,” Thomas said. “Fertilizer went up, the drought. They had to shift water from cotton fields to pumpkin fields. We were hit hard.”
A market report from the United States Department of Agriculture said the price of pumpkins per pound has risen by 11 cents compared to this time last year. The fest is marketed as having 750,000 pounds of pumpkins at a time, the difference in price coming to $82,500.
Thomas said despite inflation, organizers have kept prices the same as last year’s event. The uptick in visitors should make up the difference in costs.
“We made a decision that we’re going to keep our prices the same as last year, because we know that everyone has been hit in one way or another,” Thomas said.
The Texas Pumpkin Fest continues through the rest of the month. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The new location of the fest is at 8760 FM 2243 in Leander.