pumpkin fest returns on sat, oct 14!

This year’s annual Pumpkin Fest will take place at Long Lane Farm on October 14th from 12 – 4 pm. There you will be able to find a plethora of fun activities, open to both the Wesleyan and  Middletown communities, as well as live music and free food. You can check out a tour of the farm or just hang with friends and sip some (free) hot apple cider. Either way we can’t wait to see you there! That feeling especially holds true for Isaac Moss ‘25, one of the student organizers of the event, who I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with about the plans for the event.

What is Pumpkin Fest and how did you get involved?
Pumpkin Fest is Long Lane Farm’s annual big fall festival, sponsored by the Bailey College of the Environment, featuring music, vendors, food, crafts, and more. I got involved at Long Lane as a farmer in the spring of my freshman year. Then the next year rolled around and planning was happening for Pumpkin Fest and I thought, ‘This seems cool – why don’t I do that?’ And I ended up doing a lot of it! The event was a lot of fun and a huge success last year, so I decided to do it again this year.

What can people expect this year from Pumpkin Fest?
Even bigger and better than last year! We have lots of local vendors, both from Wesleyan and from Middletown, selling everything from handmade jewelry, crocheted items and fresh produce to authentic Afro-fusion herbal teas, kombucha, books, and clothing and accessories. Two of the many organizations that will be in attendance include SewWhat, the WesThrift tailoring service, which will be offering alterations and Middletown Recycling. Just like every year, there’ll be free veggie burgers and hot apple cider; crafts for the kids, including pumpkin painting and face painting; and a musical lineup that includes student bands GERT’s Band, Frank Lloyd Left, Casual Sex, Waste Management, and Laurie Kenney, who will be performing songs from her new album, Every Apple Does Go Bad Eventually

What was the planning like to put this whole event together?
It’s chaotic! There are messages in the Pumpkin Fest group chat constantly, and it’s a lot of emailing and coordination. Thankfully, Laurie Kenney at the Bailey COE does a lot of the administrative side of things. But we’re responsible for getting the vendors and the bands, and doing set up and day-of staffing that includes about 30 to 35 Long Lane farmers on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly.

If someone has never been to Pumpkin Fest, why should they make plans to attend this year? 
From the community love and care perspective, it’s an event that is a true combination of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities. It’s so much fun. There’s live music and free food and it will be in the middle of a beautiful fall day, hopefully!

What’s the connection between the Middletown community and Long Lane Farm?
As a farmer in Middletown, being near the Beman Triangle and being part of one of the wealthiest universities in the US but not the richest town, I view our role at Long Lane Farm as one that gives back to the community. We participate in farmers markets, SNAP, and nutritional programs as much as we can to act as a resource and connect to the town. We’re always looking for ways to get food to people that need it. Most of the produce grown at Long Lane Farm goes to Middletown, including to Amazing Grace,  the soup kitchen attached to St Vincent’s. Then, of course, a lot of our food does also go to Wesleyan. We’ve been trying to get more involved in the community, including working with Cultivating Justice, a farming initiative working to bring the community together in the field of agriculture, which is our goal too.

Last question: What are you most excited for at Pumpkin Fest this year?
I’m really excited for the bands, because I really like live music. I’m excited for the pie eating contest, which is always fun to watch, and to see what the vendors have to offer. And I’m really excited for people to see Long Lane Farm. It’s all pretty exciting!