Patch 1

Sheila (left) and Janet Schaake (center) and Sharla Dressler (right) say the overgrown vines of this year's pumpkins will add a sense of adventure to early arrivals who look for their perfect pumpkin.

Whether it’s digging through a pumpkin patch or heading to EudoraFest, local residents can create their own adventure next weekend.

EudoraFest President Barbara Tuttle said the event is making a full return from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday after being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.

The opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. with a mayor’s welcome and the national anthem.

Although activities such as the 5K and golf tournament won’t be part of EudoraFest this year, many opportunities are still available to those who attend. For the kids, there will be a talent show for children ages 5-13 starting after 9 a.m., and Gambino’s Path to Pizza scavenger hunt from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For others, there will be a tractor pull at noon, as well as an all-day car show in which there will be multiple awards up for grabs to those who present their vehicles. Registration for those wishing to participate in the tractor pull is at 11 a.m. The event is at 10th and Fir.

EudoraFest will feature all-day live music and dozens of tables on Main Street with various offerings, from unique foods to accessories.

“We have food, we have handmade crafts, we have businesses, we have paparazzi jewelry, Tupperware -- that kind of thing,” Tuttle said. “And then we have local businesses -- the storefronts that are downtown -- a lot of them are participating this year.” 

With previous years of the event bringing in an estimated 3,000 people throughout the day, Tuttle hopes they can meet those numbers once again following the pandemic. 

“We are friendly for everybody. With it being on Main Street, we’re 100-percent handicap accessible. Kids are welcome,” she said. 

After-fest is from 6 to 10 p.m., featuring a beer garden and live music from Kim and The Quake.

EudoraFest organizers do request that pets, bicycles and skateboards be left at home for the safety of those at the event. 

To find out more on this year’s EudoraFest, people can visit the EudoraFest Facebook page or contact Tuttle at EudoraFest@yahoo.com or (785)-542-1751.

Also continuing their fall tradition this year is Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch. 

The patch will once again open to the public starting Saturday, when “u-pick” your own pumpkin straight from the vine. 

Owner Janet Schaake said this is a great opportunity for people to get out in the fresh air and experience what the farm has to offer.

“When we first started this, we started with the idea of introducing people to the country life and introducing them to the farm,” Schaake said. 

Patch 2

This wooden pumpkin carving by Rusty Dressler sits out front of Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch after being carved from the trunk of a 100-year old elm tree.

Open for over four decades, the patch has expanded from a half-acre to 30 acres today. With the Schaake’s children, including Sharla and Sheila, involved as well, people are able to enjoy the tradition of picking from the many thousands of pumpkins available. 

Sharla Dressler said this is not the only part of the family business that she enjoys. 

“We have generations of kids that have come out, and they came with their parents, and they’re beginning their kids out and even grandkids and great-grandkids,” Dressler said. “We’ve had several multi-generation families come out, which I think is really cool -- that we’ve been established that long and that we’ve known them. We’ve gotten to know them over the years, so that’s my favorite part.”

With the lengthy vines the pumpkins have grown this year, there is an added effect for those who arrive early in search of a pumpkin within the patch. 

“It’s an adventure when it’s early like this because it’s literally digging through the vines trying to find their perfect pumpkin,” Dressler said. 

Sheila Schaake enjoys the factt here are over 100 varieties of pumpkin to choose from. 

“Seeing the varieties that people pick -- their wheelbarrows full of pumpkins -- that’s always really fun. We’re always like, ‘Where’d you find that? Where’d you get that?’” she said. 

Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch is open from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. There is no admission fee, and each pumpkin costs 55 cents per pound. 

Those who wish to find out more or to contact the pumpkin patch can do so through its website.

Fall will also mark the beginning of a new event for local senior citizens: Friday Fun Fellowship. 

Created by the Senior Foundation of Eudora, this event will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the second Friday of every month at the rec center. The first gathering will be Oct. 8.

With COVID-19 making it difficult to continue the senior potluck from prior years, the Senior Foundation wanted to make a new event to allow seniors to get together again. 

Belinda Rehmer of the Senior Foundation said this event will provide a great opportunity to get people out of their houses following pandemic restrictions.

“We know that there are a lot of people out there that don’t really want to stay in the house but they don’t really know what there is to do, and so this is just like a springboard to get those that want to be involved or active in something,” she said.

The first gathering will feature a speech from City Manager Barack Matite on upcoming projects and developments in Eudora, as well as snacks for attendees. 

Social distancing will be in place to ensure the safety of all present, and masks are encouraged for those who are unvaccinated.

“We want all to feel comfortable, and it’s all about meeting each other, [and] seeing what’s happening in Eudora,” Rehmer said.

The event is free. Those in need of transportation are encouraged to use the Senior Wheels service, which can be organized by appointment at (785)-727-7876. 

More information on the Friday Fun Fellowship event can be found on the Senior Foundation of Eudora website.

 

Reach reporter Emily Binkley at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

To donate to support our community journalism, please go to this link: tinyurl.com/y4u7stxj

 

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