Ozark Outdoors

Harvest Fest returns to Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park Sept. 29-Oct. 29

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Straw bales make a great playground for visitors to Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park during Harvest Fest through October. 28.

Harvest Fest at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park opens this weekend, kicking off five weekends of Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, Haunted Trail and all kinds of fall-themed fun, presented by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

Harvest Fest is open Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m., Sept. 30-Oct. 29 with the Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, hay rides, the Cow Train, the Grain Train, inflatables, carnival games and more. Admission to Harvest Fest is free, but rides and activities have a small fee, ranging $1-3, and pumpkins are sold by weight. The Farm Park also features free farm animal interactions, pedal tractors and a farm-themed playground. Concessions are sold on site during the event.

The Haunted Trail is open Friday and Saturday nights, 6:30-10 p.m., Sept. 29- Oct. 28. The Haunted Trail includes a hayride to the trail entrance, then a ¼-mile walk through the woods, where you will encounter creepy characters. Admission is $5. Kids must be age 8 or older for the Haunted Trail, and kids 8-12 admitted only with an adult.

The Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch are open during Harvest Fest and Friday and Saturday evenings during the Haunted Trail. The Corn Maze is $3/adults, $2/kids ages 5-11, and free for kids age 4 and younger. One free corn maze admission with every McDonald’s receipt, one per person. Pumpkins are sold by weight, starting at $3.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park is just north of Sunshine, west of West Bypass, at 3825 W. Farm Road 146. For more information, call Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park at 417-837-5949 or visit ParkBoard.org/HarvestFest.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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