What do you like most about fall or Halloween?
We asked that question to residents at local pumpkin patches and roadside markets.
Pamala Larson has lived in Cornelius' Captain's Point for two years with her husband, Tony. She and daughters, Ellie, 4, and Abby, 2, recently visited the Boy Scout Troop 82 pumpkin patch off West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.
Originally from North Dakota, she said she appreciates the mild weather, the smells and neighborhood parties. Her kids had one thing to say about Halloween: Candy.
Dana Peterson, a 14-year Cornelius resident from Magnolia Estates, is a parent-volunteer at the Boy Scout pumpkin patch, which serves as the troop's only fundraiser and also features themed décor, gourds, carving kits and thousands of pumpkins.
Two of Peterson's sons are Eagle Scouts and her third son, a Life Scout, is on his way to earning that rank.
Her favorite memories are carving pumpkins - and once winning a prize for a witch she carved using a stencil - and trick-or-treating with her kids.
When it comes to carving pumpkins, she offered this advice: "Don't be afraid to get messy. You have to reach in and go for it. That's the fun of carving."
Scout media representative Karen Ulmer, a 10-year Huntersville resident said, "The pumpkins are grown on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico and shipped to nonprofit groups all over the country. Scouts, family members and friends unloaded 4,000 pumpkins and at least one more truckload is expected before the patch closes.
"This pumpkin patch offers a fun, family outing where kids of all ages can cruise up and down the pumpkin aisles, take pictures, eat ice cream and just have a great time close to home."
Danny Phillips owns and runs Huntersville's Old Store Produce with his wife, Madeline and their children, Stacy and Johnathan. The year's fall crops include pumpkins, N.C. apples, okra, cucumbers, squash, beans, peppers, tomatoes and more.
"We got a little bit of everything," said Phillips. "And if we don't have it on display, we'll go pick it for you."
Born and raised in the area, he and his family manage the three-generation, 100-acre Hubbard farm, across from the store on Beatties Ford Road. The farm has been in operation for about 70 years and has supplied produces to area residents for a decade.
What does he like most about this time of year?
"Being right here because we have a lot of fun with the kids," said Phillips.
Aside from fruits and vegetables and hundreds of pumpkins, the roadside store and market also offers hayrides from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays.
Bill Iuliano moved from Sterling, Mass., to Huntersville's NorthStone neighborhood nine years ago. He said he enjoys seeing kids in costumes and visiting the Old Store.
"I come from a small town, so visiting this place is like going home for me," he said of the Old Store.
Get your pumpkins
Haven't picked up a pumpkin yet? Here's a few nearby options.
Boy Scout Troop 82 pumpkin patch: This annual fundraiser supports troop activities. Open daily through Oct. 31. 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. Located at 17029 Kenton Drive, off West Catawba Avenue, Cornelius. Also look for carving kits, decorative gourds and more. Details: John Carpenter at 704-400-5243.
Davidson United Methodist Church youth pumpkin patch: Annual fundraiser supports church mission trips, youth/choir retreats and local outreach programs. Open daily through Oct. 31. Noon-8 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends.
Located at the church's Molly McKay Youth House, 260 S. Main St., Davidson. Most pumpkins on display were grown in North Carolina. Also has seasonal fruits and vegetables, decorative gourds, Indian corn, dried cornstalks. Details: Kristen Twitchell at 704-987-9949.
Old Store Produce: The Old Store's fall crops include pumpkins, N.C. apples, okra, cucumbers, squash, beans, peppers, tomatoes and more. Located on Beatties Ford Road just south of N.C. 73, Huntersville. Details: 704-992-6106.
Farm Fresh Market: The nursery, garden and farm supply stores is at 19204 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius. Details: 704 896-6901.