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Local students enjoy day out
Kids, kids everywhere; climbing on a combine, playing in the corn box and taking a tour of the corn maze at Changala’s pumpkin patch. The latter seemed to be the most popular.
“I like the huge corn maze and picking the pumpkins,” said Saelah Fields a fourth grader at Burton Elementary as she and her fellow students enjoyed a day out.
Emily Bagdanoff, another fourth grader, agreed. “I like that huge corn maze, it’s freaky,” said Bagdanoff.
The girls were part of the book buddies program at Burton taking a tour of the annual pumpkin patch that appears just before Halloween every year. “A fourth grader goes into the kindergarten class and reads with them, like best friends,” said parent and chaperone Alexis
Franklin who with husband Brent Franklin have attended previous autumn outings. This year, she was with her son Shaun.
“He picked the bumpiest pumpkin,” said Alexis Franklin who added that coming to Changala’s was a family tradition. “We’re coming back with family,” stated Alexis Franklin.
Over at the corn box, Burton fourth grade teacher Janet Keane kept a watchful eye. “It’s an absolutely beautiful day and the kids are having a ball. The big ones are taking care of the little ones,” said Keane, who has chaperoned the event for the past seven years. She points out that the day allows the students a chance to mingle. “It’s an opportunity to interact with a different grade level and it’s an opportunity to learn about the pumpkin life cycle,” added
Keane who explained the days activities. After the student’s arrival they receive directions, pick their pumpkins and then it’s playtime. In the corn box, Michael Castillo was rummaging around.
“Jack the Pumpkin King,” said Michael Castillo when asked what character he would be for Halloween. Nearby, his grandmother, Susan Castillo, watched. “We’ve been here every year. He loves it, the pumpkins, the whole playground thing, it’s nice,” said Susan Castillo.
Another chaperone parent, Monica Rodriguez, who brought her 5-year-old and 3-year-old sons, concurred. “We come here every year. It’s like a Porterville tradition to be here,” stated Rodriguez.
Owner Liz Changala was happy with the early morning crew. “It went great. Some kids have never seen where pumpkins come from,” said Changala, who added that the environment provides a one-of-a kind experience. “It’s just a fun family outing,” stated Changala.
Changala’s is located at Olive and Redwood. It is open from 9 a.m. to dusk seven days a week and admission is free. They offer train rides, a petting zoo, a corn maze, pumpkins for sale, animals for sale and more. However, there is a flat fee for the corn maze, train and wagon rides. For more information call Liz Changala at 359-1241.