The Harvest festival at Tulip Town farm in Mount Vernon has begun. The annual festival is offering a selection of fun, fall-themed activities every weekend through the end of October. The 2021 Harvest marks the third year Tulip Town has put on the festival.
“The Harvest is kind of our celebration of the farming community, bringing in everybody to see the changing of the seasons,” said Chuck Jaggers, farm manager at Tulip Town.
Tulip Town remains a working farm even during the festival; this time of year is when the tulip bulbs are planted for next spring.
“From growing our fields to getting ready for wintertime, this is really just a celebration to bring people in,” Jaggers said. “They get to get out and enjoy nature. We have a lot of fun activities to go out and do, and really just enjoy the outdoors for fall.”
The whole farm is transformed into a fall wonderland for visitors to explore. Pumpkins, hay bales and scarecrows line the paths giving attendees somewhere to rest their feet and talk.
There are two corn mazes to get lost in, one that’s easy and one that’s more difficult. Both of them tower overhead, giving no way of seeing through to the end.
The apple slingshot is available for attendees looking for some more action. The first three shots are included with the $5 entry fee, so guests can head over to the slingshot to see how far they can launch an apple through the air.
Alternatively, those who are looking to relax a little can sit down for a hayride across the farm. The tractor-pulled trailer runs on a loop around the festival and the surrounding fields for most of the day.
Another option for relaxation is to sit down in the beer garden and have a drink. The garden resides inside the greenhouse which has been decked out in pumpkins, flowers and fall colors giving it a cozy fall feeling.
Those who are feeling more social can visit the farm animals at the petting zoo. The petting zoo is put on by Farm Animal Rescue and Mentoring also known as FARM, a nonprofit located in Skagit County that handles fostering, rescue, rehab and adoption of farm animals.
Susan Trenary, director of FARM, brought a few of their donkeys, goats and a pig for the petting zoo. The petting zoo gives attendees of the festival a chance to interact with different farm animals and spreads the message of what FARM is all about.
FARM currently supports about 80 animals at their facility, so the few animals visitors do see are only a fraction of their total size.
Trenary’s goal for FARM at the Harvest is to attract people who want to support the organization, as the support for their animals is donation based. All money raised goes directly to their animals.
For visitors who are concerned about COVID-19, Melissa Morin, communications specialist for the Whatcom County Health Department, weighed in.
“Experts agree that outdoor transmission is generally rare,” Morin said. “Wearing masks and maintaining distance lowers that risk.”
So long as attendees stay properly distanced and masked up, their risk of infection is low. The layout of the farm also lends itself well to social distancing.
“We did really well with [the 2020 festival],” Jaggers said. “That's the nice thing — we might have a lot of people here, but because we’re an open farm people are able to space out and really just enjoy things on their own.”
Ryan Scott is a third-year Visual Journalism major and city life reporter for The Western Front. When not reporting, Ryan enjoys photography, listening to music, driving, and cooking if he can find the time. You can contact him at email@example.com.