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Farm festivals offer fall adventures, family memories

For Kentucky Farmers, fall is a time to celebrate the harvest, but many are also busy creating sweet memories for families.

City meets country at Reid’s Orchard on the outskirts of Owensboro in Daviess County. Back when Allan Reid started it in 1873, it mostly offered apples and peaches. Today, Reid’s Orchard is a 250-acre diversified farm and orchard operation. Billy Reid and his wife, Kathy, are the owners and run these beautiful grounds alongside their three adult children—Valerie Reel, Brad Reid and Katie Clark—and Billy’s sister, Charlotte Burton. The family makes sure there is something for everyone all year, whether it is flower baskets from their greenhouse in the spring or the big Apple Festival every third weekend in October.

Running a year-round ag destination means the work never stops around Reid’s. “It’s never boring around here. Every month is something different. I get up earlier and earlier filled with excitement,” says Billy. “I don’t have to get in my car and go to work. I just have to step off my back porch. When I finished college, I came back to farm the orchard because I love it. There is something special about growing produce for our customers to buy and feed their families.”

Reid’s has four full-time employees and up to 10 seasonal workers. They get the greenhouses ready for the spring and then move on to strawberries, tomatoes and vegetables. After that, it’s peaches and sweet corn and then pumpkins and apples in the fall. Reid’s also hosts a year-round petting zoo and play area and has a venue space for weddings and get-togethers.

Their famous Apple Festival, slated this year for October 16–17, draws over 20,000 people. Kathy starts preparing for the event in May. “The festival is the largest fundraiser of the year for the many nonprofit organizations that take part,” Billy says. “The Apple Festival produces upward of $70,000 for organizations ranging from local Little League teams, to churches, to FFA chapters and JROTC programs.” 

Billy says he and Kathy never imagined the Apple Festival would grow to what it is today. They began by inviting the Owensboro Pork Producers to come and sell sandwiches to visitors. The first year the group set up, members allowed for down time by putting out a few folding chairs.

They never got to use them. Instead, they ran out of food and spent the time between sandwich orders scouring Owensboro to buy more pork.

The operation faces issues common to all businesses. Billy says “government regulation” is his biggest concern. To keep up with changes at federal and state levels, he is a member of the Kentucky Horticulture Society and the Kentucky Vegetable Association. The farm is served by Kenergy Corp. and Billy sits on the co-op’s board of directors.

Callie Begly spins wool into yarn. She raised sheep at Sunny Lea Farm, in Pellville. Photo: Greg Eans/Messenger-Inquirer.
John Parson works to craft a broom at the booth he and his wife, Claudie Parson, set up to sell items at the Apple Festival at Reid’s Orchard. Photo: Greg Eans/ Messenger-Inquirer
A view of the carnival area of the Apple Festival at Reid's Orchard. Photo: Greg Eans/Messenger-Inquirer.

It may be a business, but Billy says his farm and orchard are places where people can come to relax. “You don’t have to fight the traffic, you just drive right out here in the country,” he says. “This is a place where you see people talking in the parking lot like they’re neighbors and our Apple festival is like the end of the harvest homecoming for Owensboro.” 

Those patrons now number in the generations, he adds: “I’ll see these little kids come in on trips in grade school and then 10 years, 15 years later I’ll see them come to get married at our venue space and then in a couple of years they’ll be bringing their own kids to visit.”


A bounty of fall farm festivals

Note: Admission and activity costs vary; some COVID-19 restrictions may be in place. Call or visit websites for details.


Buckmeadow Farm Fest

Through October 30; Saturdays 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–6 p.m.

Hayride to pumpkin patch, corn maze, straw mountains with slides, ninja warrior course, jump pads, corn crib, concessions.

1323 Ninevah Road, Lawrenceburg

(502) 680-1824


Kinman Farms Fall Fest

Through October 31; Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sundays, noon–7 p.m. 

Adventure package includes Great Pumpkin Express train-like ride, corn maze, hayride, carnival tent, live bands, petting zoo, laser tag game and more.

4175 Burlington Pike, Burlington

Sandy Land Acres Haunted Hayride

(859) 689-2682

Through October 30; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.–midnight

Haunted barn, 25-minute haunted hayride into cinema horror past and present.

4172 Belleview Road, Petersburg

(859) 322-0516


Shady lane Farm Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Pumpkin patch, gourds, fresh-picked apples, hayride, corn maze.

340 C E Smith Road, Shepherdsville

Facebook: Shady Lane Farm – Pumpkin Patch & Produce

(502) 599-3024

Slow Poke Farm Fall Festival

October 1–31; Saturdays, Sundays, noon–7 p.m.

Hay maze, corn maze, hayrides, playground, pumpkins for sale, Country Store and antiques.

8910 Cedar Grove Road, Shepherdsville

(502) 921-9632


Neltner’s Farm Fall Fest

Through October 31; Mondays–Fridays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Weekends: Horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides, farm shop, barrel train, craft demonstrations, home-cooked food, seasonal produce, live music and more. Weekdays: Farm shop, pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, barrel train, produce.

6922 Four Mile Road, Melbourne

(859) 496-7535


Christian Way Farm Pumpkin Patch

Through November 13; Mondays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–dark

Pumpkin patch, farm-themed mini-golf, lawn mower train, hayrides, corn maze, hay castle, petting zoo.

19590 Linville Road, Hopkinsville

(270) 269-2434

Coal Creek Orchard Apple Festival 

October 2; 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Hayrides, you-pick apples, bounce house, face painting, vendors, barbecue and other goodies.

22850 Coal Creek Road, Hopkinsville

Facebook: Coal Creek Orchard

(270) 348-4720


Trunnell’s Fall Farm Experience

October 1–November 5; Mondays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, noon–7 p.m.

Pumpkin patch, giant corn maze, kiddie corn maze, yard games, giant checkers, grain train, wagon rides, giant slide, jumping pillow, animal barnyard.

9255 U.S. Highway 431, Utica

(270) 733-2222

Reid’s Apple Festival

October 16–17; Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, noon–6 p.m. 

Over 100 craft booths, craft demonstrations, 20-plus food booths, carnival rides  and more. 

4818 Kentucky Route 144, Owensboro

(270) 685-2444


Happy Jack’s Farm Pumpkins

Through October 31, Mondays–Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Wagon ride to pumpkin patch with pumpkins, gourds and squash; farm animals, corn maze. 

966 Hickman Hill, Frankfort,

(502) 320-1064


Country Pumpkins Fall Festival

Through October 31; Mondays-Thursdays, 4–7 p.m.; Fridays, 2–7 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m.

Hayrides, corn maze, you-pick pumpkins, petting zoo, play areas, chunkin’ pumpkin launcher, barrel train ride, fall decor, concessions (rides and concessions weekends only).

1835 Sherman Mt. Zion Road, Dry Ridge

(859) 905-9656


The Pumpkin Wagon Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; Mondays–Fridays, 4–8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–6 p.m.

Pumpkin patch, fall decor, children’s play area.

1507 St. John Road, Elizabethtown

(270) 734-2156


Sugar Ridge Farms Fall Fest

Through October 30; Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Petting zoo, trolley rides, bouncy houses, covered wagon rides to pumpkin patch, play area, cornhole, nature trail with scavenger hunt, barrel ride, corn cannon, concessions, General Store.

12273 Green Road, Walton

(859) 743-8974

Mink and Walters Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; daily, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Pumpkins, gourds, mums, 8-acre corn maze, animals, children’s play area, picnic area.

2270 Springfield Road, Elizabethtown


(270) 360-9455


Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular

Through October 31; weeknights, dusk–11 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, dusk–midnight

Trail of 5,000-plus illuminated jack o’ lanterns throughout Iroquois Park, with 100 carved into works of art.

1801 Amphitheater Road (entrance at corner of New Cut and Kenwood roads)


Hillview Stables Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; Special Needs Day exclusively October 13;  Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Hayride to pumpkin patch, playground, 100-foot slide, petting zoo, corn pit, hay tunnel, three corn mazes; pony, camel, tortoise and train rides; huge petting zoo that includes kangaroo, antelope, water buffalo, yak and more in addition to farm animals.

804 Westerfield Road, London

(606) 878-0563


Baldwin Farms Harvest Festival

Through October 30; daily, 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

10 acres of pumpkins, fall produce and decor, fall décor, hay and corn mazes, farm animals, pony and horse rides (weekends only), hay caterpillars and hay spiders, dirt mountain, farm store. Large groups please schedule in advance.

1113 Tates Creek Road, Richmond

(859) 582-5785


R Farm Pumpkin Festival 

October 2–3; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, noon–6 p.m. 

Pumpkin patch, gourds, corn maze, craft vendors, concessions, petting zoo, hayride, greased pig contest.

7172 Strodes Run, Maysville

Facebook: R Farm Pumpkin Festival

(606) 584-1443


Devine’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; Thursdays, 2–6 p.m.; Fridays, 2–10 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Pumpkin picking, wagon ride, human hamster wheels, giant slide, duck races, hay maze, critter petting, zip line and zip track, corn crib and more.

623 Talmage-Mayo Road, Harrodsburg

(859) 613-5066


White Oak Pumpkin Patch

Through early November; weekdays, noon–7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Pumpkin patch, gourds, squash, Indian corn, hayrides, corn and sunflower mazes, fodder shocks and fall décor, cafe, Kentucky Proud products at the Barn Store; for kids, pumpkin and pottery painting, inflatables, corn chute, petting zoo.

8907 U.S. 460 East, West Liberty

(606) 791-8620


FFA Autumn Fest

October 16; 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Hayride to the event, corn maze with prizes and agriculture facts, pumpkins, face painting, corn pit, tractor display, bounce house, concessions. 

150 Generals Blvd., Bardstown (Thomas Nelson High School)

Facebook: FFA Autumn Fest

(502) 321-0530 


Fox Hollow Farm Fall Sunset Concerts

October 1–2; 5–9 p.m.

Sunset concerts with multiple artists, farm-fresh food.

8905 State Route 329, Crestwood

(502) 241-9674


Bear Wallow Farm Fall Season

Through October 31; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sundays, 1–6 p.m. 

You-pick pumpkins, sunflowers, hayride, pumpkin house, corn maze, corn pit, farm animals, nature trail, bee train ride, pumpkin chunker, apple blaster.

1225 Piney Grove Road, Nancy

(606) 875-5160


Evans Orchard and Cider Mill Fall Fun

Through October 31; Tuesdays–Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, noon–6 p.m. (closed Mondays)

Playland, barnyard, pumpkins, apple cannons, corn maze, hayrides, megaslide.

198 Stone Road, Georgetown

(502) 863-2255

Bi-Water Farm Autumnfest

Through October 31; Mondays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fridays–Saturdays, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sundays, noon– 7 p.m. 

Corn maze, playground petting zoo, paintball, spooky farmhouse, 20 acres of pumpkins, sunflower field, jumping pillows, country coaster slide.

877 Cincinnati Road, Georgetown

(502) 863-3676


Gallrein Farms Fall Festival

Through October 31; Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m. 

Hayrides to pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, haunted house, train rides, pedal tractors, obstacle course, super slide, food trucks, cafe.

1029 Vigo Road, Shelbyville

(502) 633-4849

Mulberry Orchard Pumpkin Festival

Through October 31; Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Wagon rides to pumpkin patch, corn and soybean mazes, big playground, farm animals, farm market, Mulberry Kitchen; on October 9, serves as venue for Great Pumpkin Run 5K through the farm. 

1330 Mulberry Pike, Shelbyville

(502) 655-2633


Jackson’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival

October 2–31; Saturdays 9 a.m.–5 p.m.: Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Pick-Your-Own Apples, playground, hayrides to corn maze and pumpkin patch, petting zoo, pony rides, scavenger hunt for kids.

1280 Slim Island Road, Bowling Green

(270) 781-5303

Just Piddlin Farm Fall Agritourism       

Through October 31; Mondays–Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay maze, corn pit, tube slide, fall décor, baker, human hamster wheels, playground, farm animals.

10830 S. Morgantown Road, Woodburn

(270) 542-6769


Sally Gap Farms Pumpkin Patch

Through October 31; Fridays, Saturdays, noon–7 p.m.

Horse- and tractor-drawn hayrides, pumpkin patch, mums, petting zoo, corn maze, zip line, corn blasters.

445 Louden Road, Williamsburg

Facebook: Sally Gap Pumpkin Patch

(606) 524-4722

JONATHAN SHELL is a policy advisor for various statewide organizations. He grows flowers, corn and pumpkins and raises cattle on his Garrard County farm, Shell Farms and Greenhouses.

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