PLANT CITY – First United Methodist Church is once again the place to find fun and the makings for pumpkin pie or a jack o’ lantern for Halloween.
The church’s annual pumpkin patch is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. The patch, set up at the playground at the church at 303 N. Evers St., is a fundraiser for the church youth group.
“Last year we raised $15,800. I’d like to reach $16,000 this year,” said Philip Brooks, director of the youth and young adult ministry.
The church has sponsored a pumpkin patch for about 10 years. Earlier this month, 1,900 large pumpkins and hundreds of smaller ones were delivered from a New Mexico farm operated by Navajo Indians.
The smallest pumpkins are 25 cents and the largest ones are $50. Most people buy pumpkins in the $12 to $15 range, Brooks said.
The patch includes places for photo opportunities, such as hay bales where children can be posed, and children are welcome to enjoy the playground. Many preschools and other groups have come by for a tour, Brooks said.
The pumpkin sale is capped by Trunk or Treat, a Halloween-themed celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. The event includes live music, bouncy house and games and trunks full of treats. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and cotton candy will be sold, children’s ministry director Shawna Cook said.
Children are welcome to wear their Halloween costumes to the event, Cook said.
For information about the pumpkin patch, including group visits, call Brooks at the church at (813) 754-3519. For information about Trunk or Treat, call Cook, also at (813) 754-3519.