Linder, Texas (KXAN) – The Texas Pumpkin Festival opened its biggest event to visitors on Saturday. By the time the event closes at the end of the month, the number of guests is expected to reach 75,000.
Lisa Beth Thomas, director of marketing for Pumpkin Fest of Texas, said last year’s event drew more than 50,000 guests, and the festival was occasionally crowded.
“We had a lot of people last year,” Thomas said. “It was a little crowded so we wanted to make it bigger to let kids really run free.”
The festival is being held at a new location this year. He says the five-acre pumpkin patch, amusement rides and vendors will be twice as large as previous festivals.
He said he was concerned that the festival, along with hosting large crowds, would interfere with the price and supply of pumpkins due to rising prices and the ongoing drought.
“It’s been a really tough year,” Thomas said, “the fertilizer went up, the drought. They had to divert water from cotton fields to pumpkin fields. We were hit hard.”
A Market report According to the United States Department of Agriculture, pumpkin prices have increased by 11 cents compared to last year. The festival was marketed as having 750,000 pounds of pumpkins at one time, with a price difference of $82,500.
Despite inflation, organizers have kept prices the same as last year’s event, Thomas said. Fluctuations in visitors should create a difference in costs.
“We decided to keep our prices the same as last year, because we know that everyone is affected in one way or another,” Thomas said.
The Texas Pumpkin Fest continues for the rest of the month. Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival’s new location is at 8760 FM 2243 in Linder.