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Fall Family Fun Festival

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 1:17 p.m. CDT
(Doug Oleson -
Kylee Burks, 5, shows off one of the pumpkins she chose during the first Fall Family Fun Festival at Bountiful Blessing Farm Produce in rural Hinckley, Ill. on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.

HINCKLEY – Wayne and Allison Parkes of Aurora were looking for something to do last weekend when her mother saw a notice on Facebook about a Fall Family Fun Festival at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce in rural Hinckley.

“We thought it sounded like a fun family outing,” Allison Parkes said. She and her husband, Wayne, drove over with their three children, Quinten, 1, Tyler, 3, and Kaelyn, 7.

The three-day festival was a first at the farm, owner Jeff Wielert said.

“We always wanted to do some kind of festival or something,” he said.

After spending 15 years as a youth minister, Wielert said his parents, Allan and Bette Wielert, invited him to come back to the family farm three years ago. Since he has a degree in horticulture, he decided to take them up on the offer. With more than 10 acres of sweet corn and 10 acres of vegetables and pumpkins, the four-generation family farm raises a variety of produce.

Jeff Wielert said produce is sold on the honor system at a roadside stand where people pay by dropping off the appropriate amount in a cardboard box. The roadside stand will be open through Christmas.

At the festival, which ran Saturday through Monday, pumpkins and gourds were joined by other harvest-season produce, like apples and squash. To put everyone in the Halloween mood, there was a scary pumpkin walk through a haunted forest and a haunted cemetery. Visitors were greeted by Matilda the Friendly Witch, who handed out free hot cider and popcorn.

“It was a very nice way to spend the afternoon together,” Wayne Parkes said as he packed up the family vehicle with small pumpkins, squash, corn and peach salsa.

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