Mandan News

Papa’s Pumpkin Patch coming to Mandan

Mayor Tim Helbling makes the announcement that Papa's Pumpkin Patch will be coming to Mandan for at least two years. Standing behind Helbling are (l-r) Parks Director Cole Higlin and Mandan Park Board President Tracy Porter. Submitted photo

Mayor Tim Helbling on Aug. 4 welcomed Papa’s Pumpkin Patch to Mandan following an announcement by chief operator Dave Pearce and Mandan Parks and Recreation leaders. The Mandan Park Board and Pearce reached an agreement for the lease of the Dacotah Centennial Park facility for use by Papa’s Pumpkin Patch for the 2011 and 2012 fall seasons.

Pearce outlined plans to open the patch Sept. 12 to school tours with a grand opening Sept. 17, remaining open through Oct. 31. Activities will include train and pony rides, a pumpkin cannon, live music on weekends and much more. The Pearce family and volunteers will begin transforming the facility into a fall festival atmosphere beginning Aug. 29.

The Pearce family had been seeking alternative locations for Papa’s Pumpkin Patch due to flood impacts on their property north of Bismarck along the Missouri River.

Park District officials explained that the pumpkin patch and associated activities for people of all ages will be an excellent use of the mixed use facility that has largely sat idle from October through March. Stock car races end in August. Some soccer games and family and youth rodeos continue through September and October, but the activities should complement one another.

The Pearce family appreciates having access to a facility with trees and places that provide shade, a concessions area, grand stand and a host of areas in which to place pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, straw bales, games and the like.

They estimate that about 45,000 people will visit the patch including thousands of school children by the busload. Businesses on Memorial Highway and throughout Mandan are likely to enjoy the additional activity.

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