Flying pumpkins and more on tap for Sinkland Farms festival

RINER – Pumpkins rocketing through the air, a 10-foot-tall corn maze and hayrides to the pumpkin patch are all in store for visitors to Sinkland Farms this season.

Sinkland Farms opens its 16th Annual Pumpkin Festival today with classic family-favorite activities and new additions to the activity line-up. This year, the area’s longest-running pumpkin festival will be open for seven weekends from September 26 through November 8.

“See how far a pumpkin can be hurled when “Punkin Chunkin” comes to the farm with the appearance of World Champion Team Carbo from Raleigh, NC,” say organizers. “Team Carbo will be on hand Oct. 17 and 18 to demonstrate pumpkin catapulting with attempts to beat their own championship record for distance in flying pumpkins.”

Home to the oldest corn maze in the state, Sinkland Farms’ maze features a five-acre Halloween Cat, ready to pounce with twists and turns. Thousands of visitors arrive each year to navigate the maze, as part of the festival’s annual schedule of activities, food, music, and exhibits of machinery and animals.  The Festival welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 5  p.m. on Sundays.  The corn maze is also open after dark from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

The 2009 Festival’s schedule features several new activities including the “Punkin Chunkin” exhibitions on October 17 and 18; apple-butter making demonstrations on Oct. 10, 17, 24, and 31; and renowned Chef Bob Butterworth of Chateau Morrisette with his legendary grilled rib dinners available on October 17 and 24 from 5 to 8 p.m.  A fun-filled, family-style Halloween is scheduled for October 31, with a local “Punkin Chunkin” Invitational hosted by Boy Scout Troop 348, storytelling from 2 – 4 p.m., and a ghoulish Annual Costume Parade at 1 p.m. open to all children, adults and animals.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy hayrides to the pumpkin patch located on 12 acres amidst the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Pumpkins are available pre-picked or families can enjoy selecting their own pumpkins, squash, and gourds from the patch in this scenic location – don’t forget your cameras,” organizers say. “Your family can spend the afternoon with pony and carriage rides, and visiting with the barnyard animals.  We have colorful face painting for the little ones, local arts and crafts vendors, and plenty of tasty, homemade southern-style food and ice cream.  Live music is provided by some of the area’s best blues, country, and bluegrass musicians. The Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival is an annual fall tradition the whole family can enjoy.”

Sinkland Farms is located at 3020 Riner Road, just outside of Christiansburg.  Take I-81 to Exit 114, travel south on Route 8 towards Riner/Floyd for 2.2 miles.  The farm is on the left.

Be sure to visit their website at www.sinklandfarms.com for more information or call 540/382-4640 or 540/382-1920.

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