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Pumpkin Days’ return to Pahrump a smashing success

After two years of anticipation, fall-themed festivities made their way back to Ian Deutch Memorial Park this past weekend, with the Pahrump Disability Outreach Program hosting its annual Pumpkin Days event amid a crowd of eager patrons, all of whom were obviously overjoyed to see the return of the fundraiser.

Held Friday, Oct. 22 through Sunday, Oct. 24, Pumpkin Days was an enormous triumph, with families from all over the area heading out to enjoy all there was to see and do, and there was certainly plenty of activity to entertain the thousands that turned out in support of the Pahrump Disability Outreach Program, better known simply as PDOP. The park was literally swarming with people from Friday to Sunday, with youngsters running, jumping, climbing and clambering while their amused parents looked on with smiles of delight. All in all, PDOP President David Boruchowitz said the event was an incredible success and he was absolutely thrilled to see such an amazing amount of support for the event’s return.

“PDOP’s 2021 Pumpkin Days was awesome. We had gorgeous weather and attendance was spectacular,” Boruchowitz raved following the event. “2021 was the best year for PDOP Pumpkin Days yet and we appreciate the community’s support.”

In fact, this year’s festivities were such a success that the organization netted almost twice as much in funds as it had during its last Pumpkin Days event, which was held in 2019 and raised approximately $17,000 after expenses. The 2021 total was a whopping $30,000 and Boruchowitz was obviously ecstatic, telling the Pahrump Valley Times, “This was by far our best year ever,” adding that attendance was estimated at 4,300 throughout the three-day event.

All of the traditional elements of Pumpkin Days were included this year, such as hay rides, the hay pyramid and even a hay pit, along with a corn pit, where the kiddos could jump in and toss the dry stalks and kernels around, shrieking with laughter all the while.

The PDOP train, painted bright orange and comprised of several small cars towed behind a tractor engine, was out at the park too, giving children and their families the chance to hop aboard for a jaunt around the event venue.

There were plenty of cute and cuddly animals on-site during Pumpkin Days, with RNG Farms and the Humecky family each providing a petting zoo that brought enormous smiles to the faces of those who ventured in to interact with all the critters.

For a bit of holiday horror, the PDOP Haunted House was erected once again this year. Volunteers Adam Tippetts and Mikey Bruno managed the Haunted House for the event, as they have for the past dozen years, and there was plenty of scary fun to be had as attendees both young and old gathered their courage before entering the Haunted House’s dark and creepy depths.

One of the most popular portions of Pumpkin Days each year, and a big part of the fundraising activity, is the pumpkin patch, where hundreds and hundreds of orange gourds in a range of sizes were on display. Attendees were able to wend their way through the pumpkin patch in search of the ones that were just right for them and it was a pursuit that families obviously took pleasure in, with beaming faces to be seen each time someone located the pumpkin they would like to purchase.

“We just about sold out of pumpkins and we had just shy of 2,000 pumpkins to start with,” Boruchowitz reported.

This year PDOP brought in a new feature for Pumpkin Days, hiring a bull-riding provider from mechanicalbulls.com who set up in the park and offered all the patrons free rides on the mechanical bucking bull. It was a huge attraction for many and there was a steady line of people, particularly youngsters, waiting to take their shot on the wily bull all throughout the weekend.

There were contests incorporated into the event as well, including the Spaghetti Eating Contest sponsored by Carmelo’s Bistro and a Pumpkin Carving Contest, along with the Monster Dash, which is a which is a 5k and one-mile fun run that drew about 52 participants this year.

There was much more to partake of during Pumpkin Days too, with free face painting, a plethora of fall photo opportunities, the PDOP firetruck, a police car and even a tank for kids to scramble all over and a variety of fall foods on sale to keep hunger and thirst at bay.

“PDOP would like to thank all of its sponsors, and also all of its volunteers. PDOP Pumpkin Days would not occur without the support and dedication of all of the numerous volunteers who assist each year,” Boruchowitz said. “A special shout-out to Bridget and Bruce Nelson and their volunteers, who have provided the food for Pumpkin Days for the past 12 years.”

PDOP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children with disabilities and their families. “Pahrump Disability Outreach Program is multi-faced support group,” the organization’s website reads. “We provide support to the parents, siblings and other family members of children with any disability. We welcome membership from anyone who supports this organization and what it stands for.”

For more information on PDOP visit www.PahrumpDisabilityOutreachProgram.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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