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It was a cold and sometimes rainy weekend, but that didn’t stop crowds of families from heading out to the Sass Family Farm in Riverside to get a pumpkin, take a hayrack ride and get into that Halloween spirit.
Maury Sass, who owns Sass Farms, said he’s been selling pumpkins and running the farm with his family for almost two decades.
“We start setting up two and a half months before we open on the last week of Sept,” Sass said. “I plant about 8 acres of pumpkins in June, you don’t want them getting ripe before Halloween.”
One of Sass’s grandsons, Dalton Sorrelos, said the farm usually gets some pretty good sized pumpkins.
“The biggest one this year was about 95 pounds,” he said.
Sass said the farm gets visitors from all over.
“We get people from Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Marengo and we had some people from Spain in recently,” he said. “I think our biggest attraction is all the free activities we offer. The only thing we charge for is the hayrack rides.”
One family who was brave enough to go on Sass’s haunted hayrack ride were Griffin, Weber, and Nikki Robertson from Columbus Junction. Weber Robertson said he thought the hayrack ride was as advertised.
“It was scary,” Weber said with a laugh near the end of the ride.
The hayrack used for rides was custom built by Sass 3 years ago.
“We used a regular one with sides before, but with this one I can hold a whole bus load of kids.”
Duston Sorrells was another one of Sass’s grandsons working on the farm this weekend. Dustin, 13, said he’s been helping out on the farm since he was a little kid.
“I like working here, I’d rather work here than inside somewhere,” he said. “It’s nice to come out and goof off on the farm.”
Sass Farms opens daily at 11 a.m.