PHOTO GALLERY: Downtown Natchez boasts a new pumpkin patch

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

NATCHEZ — Downtown Natchez has its own pumpkin patch, thanks to members of the Downtown Natchez Alliance and the efforts of several community volunteers.

A truckload of approximately 1,000 pumpkins from Pumpkins USA was unloaded Wednesday morning by a team that included Cathedral and Adams County Christian School students, DNA members and Adams County Sheriff’s Office inmates.

The pumpkin patch at the Natchez Inc. building on the corner of Main and Pearl streets is no ordinary pumpkin patch. It also provides a home for storytelling, face painting and a selfie board for fall photo opportunities.

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“Basically, whatever we come up with,” DNA President Michael Pace said of the activities that will take place at the patch. “The point of this is to draw people into the heart of Natchez, the downtown area,” which is the primary goal of the DNA, Pace said.

It officially opens to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and will maintain regular hours for three weeks up to Halloween.

An array of volunteers will work three-hour shifts to keep the patch open from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Pace said.

“This was made possible by a great team of volunteers—and JoAnn Brumfield, Chesney Doyle and Taylor Cooley,” Pace said, who also was drenched with sweat from helping unload the truck. Other members of the DNA who helped out Wednesday included Patti White and Norma West, who is the treasurer of that organization and the community liaison for the Hiram Revel’s Plaza project. Revel’s Plaza is the DNA’s planned development dedicated to the Rev. and Sen. Hiram Revels in the Martin Luther King triangle property owned by Zion Chapel AME. Revels was the first African American member of either branch of the U.S. Congress.

“All sorts of organizations and individuals made this possible,” said Doyle, the past president of the DNA and a member of the pumpkin patch organization committee.

Lee Carby Carpentry donated a plywood board with face holes cut out for a witch, a scarecrow and a pumpkin that Shannon Jex painted, Doyle said.

She added Arts Natchez will provide face painting and Judge George W. Armstrong Library will provide story time and other fun activities for children at the patch.

The DNA as another fall activity coming up Halloween weekend to draw children to the downtown area—a rubber duck scavenger hunt, Doyle said.

“Downtown is getting our ducks in a row,” she said.

The rubber ducks, in Halloween costumes, will be scattered throughout the downtown area for children to find. They will be able to record which ducks they found at the Arts Natchez building, she said.

Pumpkin patch visitors will be able to pick out their favorite pumpkins to buy and take home. The profits from the pumpkin sales support the library and other organizations that volunteer their time to the patch as an incentive for doing so, Pace said.

Brumfield, another pumpkin patch committee member, said the pumpkins cost anywhere from 50 cents to $50 depending on their size.

“We have something to fit your pocket,” she said. “What we don’t sell we’re going to donate to other countries that feed the pumpkins to their livestock, but we want to sell them instead of sending them somewhere else.”