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Santa Barbara pumpkin patch providing normalcy amid COVID-19 pandemic

Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch
Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch has provided a fun family tradition in Santa Barbara since 1974.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Its officially fall and people are picking pumpkins. 

Even this year, COVID-19 couldn’t stop a 46-year-old tradition at Lane Farms in Santa Barbara.

“We’ve had so many people in the community that really wanted us to do it,” Lane Farms owner John Lane said “So far it’s worked out really well.”

To ensure safety for everyone, masks are mandatory, sanitation stations were added along with the staff constantly cleaning wagons used to carry pumpkins.

Of course people must also remain six pumpkins apart. 

“Ninety-nine percent of people have been really cooperative about wearing their masks and staying with their own family groups,” Lane said.

To prevent the potential for crowded clusters, Mr. Lane and his wife, Ruth widened their corn maze. 

“The corn maze has been revamped this year with aisles that are six feet wide,” Mrs. Lane said. “So you can safely pass.”

On the other hand, the straw pit, water pump and hay ride were removed.

“We’re not doing the hay ride this year,” Mrs. Lane said. “Little too hard to social distance.”

Yet for most families, the pumpkin patch provided a sense of normalcy while allowing an annual tradition to continue. 

“We do this every year and we’re not going to let that stop us,” one parent Christian Menses said. “It’s important for us to still do these things to have a good time.”

“Bringing them out they were so happy,” another parent Barbara Vico said. “Just to do something that we do every year.”

Even during a time unlike any other, the fun family activity is keeping the fall spirit alive. 

“We’ve watched a lot of kids come through here, they come with their kids and now some of them are coming with their grandchildren,” Mrs. Lane concluded. “It’s really fun to be part of the local tradition.”

Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. up until Halloween. 

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.


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