New England Style
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)
Fairfield, CT – There were no lack of activities for kids of all ages at Greenfield Farm Saturday when the Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society hosted its 13th annual Pumpkin Fest.
Located at 3763 Congress Street, the site, which began life as Haydu Farm but is now an open space operated under a lease agreement with the Town of Fairfield, offered a pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, hayrides and seasonal-oriented refreshments like apple cider. About 25 neighbors from the Greenfield Hill area served as volunteer staff, guiding families to activities. Linnea McHenry from the Connecticut Audubon Society was also onsite with Millie the barn owl and reptiles that are facility residents.
With election time around the corner, it was no surprise to see several politicos on hand, including First Selectman Mike Tetreau, who sported a GHVIS t-shirt and was serving cider, RTM member Kristin McCarthy-Vahey, State Representative Kim Fawcett pumpkin painting with daughter Cassie, and State Representative Tony Hwang.
A particularly critical foursome among the crowd was GHVIS President Tom Bremer and his wife Sandy and John Jones and his wife Beth. They were the chief coordinators of the event and knowledgeable about its background. “The Fest was created in 1998 by Ann Carter and Didi Brandt,” said Tom. “This site was originally Haydu Farm and there was a stand at the end of the driveway. The Fest is the biggest event conducted by the GHVIS, which was founded by Elizabeth Bronson 114 years ago. It has always been free and operating and advertising costs are covered by member fees.”
For families gathered, there was no limit to the fun, and adults and kids collaborated on many projects. The Lamastos of Fairfield sat on the ground putting together a scarecrow. Four-year-old Penny decided “Scary Harry” would be an appropriate name for it. Little Iris was just looking ahead to her second birthday, which falls on Halloween.
Two-year-old Lili Jayne worked with her mom Callie to stuff hay into their scarecrow, held by dad Steve. For them, the event provided the perfect family activity on the bright sunny day.
Robert Hayes and his one-year-old son Aidyn picked their way through a cornfield. Doug Melson and his four-year-old daughter Elle pulled along a wagon carrying their pumpkin selections.
Perhaps the most memorable site, though, was Ramsey Goodrich strolling from the pumpkin patch with a large pumpkin balanced on each shoulder. To his kids, Carter, 6, and Halley, 9, he was a true Fall hero.