Three Columbia County churches are gearing up to provide a fall holiday staple: pumpkins.
Harlem United Methodist Church is opening its fifth annual Pumpkin Patch on Wednesday at the church on Milledgeville Road.
The patch offers a variety of pumpkins, gourds, hay bales and chrysanthemum plants, said Pete Llewellyn, chairman of the Pumpkin Patch and the church's Outreach Committee. Proceeds go to the church's outreach ministries.
"That's the purpose of it," Llewellyn said of the Pumpkin Patch, which raised more than $9,000 last year.
The Pumpkin Patch is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon until 7 p.m. Sunday through Halloween.
Pumpkin Patch organizers provide a craft, storytime, a pumpkin and a guided tour of the Pumpkin Patch for children from across the area.
"We had a little over 3,000 (children tour the patch) last year," Llewellyn said, adding that about 1,800 children are already scheduled for this year. "They love it."
In Evans, Wesley United Methodist Church is opening its Pumpkins With a Purpose patch on Saturday. The sale runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the church on North Belair Road.
Linda Jolley, the church office manager and event organizer, said flowers, including chrysanthemums, pansies and violas, will be on sale in addition to a variety of pumpkins, gourds, hay bales and Indian corn.
All proceeds support the church's mission trips, including trips each year to Honduras, Jolley said.
On Oct. 25, the church is holding a Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
"We'll have pony rides, a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall, several carnival-type rides and hot dogs for sale," Jolley said, adding that families are welcome to have their photos taken with several special guests, including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Peter Pan.
The event is free but donations will be accepted.
Marvin United Methodist Church will open its annual Corner Pumpkin Patch Saturday in Martinez.
The patch will be open through Halloween from noon until 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Pumpkins, gourds, chrysanthemums, hay bales and scarecrows will be for sale. Proceeds benefit the United Methodist Men missions and church projects.
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