Winder First United Methodist Church is celebrating 25 years of its pumpkin patch fundraiser.

Proceeds from the sales support its youth’s mission trips. This year 44,000 pounds of pumpkins filled the lot beside the church. The pumpkins are raised on a Navajo Indian reservation and are shipped from Pumpkins USA, a company in northern New Mexico.

Pumpkins USA is a faith-based organization that donates its pumpkins to churches.

“With a dozen varieties to choose from, visitors are sure to find the perfect pumpkin to complete their fall décor, carve into a Jack-O’-Lantern or whip into a delicious pie,” organization leaders say.

Diversity ranges from typical orange pumpkins to more exotic styles, including those with a blue hue and “Knuckle Heads” that feature warts. A tape measure wrapped around the girth of the pumpkin determines its value, which ranges from $1 - $40.

Last year the church made a profit of $8,000 with its pumpkin and gourd sales.

“Despite COVID-19, last year was our biggest year yet at the pumpkin patch,” said Dwight Oakes, program, education and youth director for the church.

Oakes said this year they are going to see if they can beat those numbers. The pumpkin patch opened on Oct. 4 and will be open every day until Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. until dark.

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