Spring Haven Farm is holding pumpkin carving events this month with a few special guests. On select dates, the Chapel Hill family farm will open to the public to host their ‘Pumpkin Carving with Goats” festival.
“We’ve been the past couple of years, said Karin Abell, a local resident who has attended the event. "It is hilarious. The goats really do love eating pumpkin scraps and they are extremely friendly.”
Starting the weekend of Oct. 12 until Oct. 27, each Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Spring Haven Farm in Chapel Hill will be offering Pumpkin Carving with Goats.
UNC Alumni Jackie Granelli is looking forward to trying it out this year after hearing about the event on Facebook.
“This will be my first activity with goats,” Granelli said. “I mean, Fall, goats, what’s not to like?”
The event will offer hay rides through the forest, a 2,000-square-foot maze, spooky decorations and friendly farm animals for $13.50, and the $20 entry fee also includes the pumpkin for carving, as well as the goat pumpkin experts. Tarot card readings, a rubber band gun game and face painting by Sparkle Body Arts will also be available for purchase.
Andrew Crihfield, owner of Spring Haven Farm for more than 23 years, began his agricultural tourism business with goat yoga events, but the autumnal themed Pumpkin Carving with Goats Festival has become the most popular of their events. While it is a family-friendly event, Crihfield said he finds probably 70 percent of the people who come are coming without kids.
“It’s a very 'Instagrammable' experience,” Crihfield said.
One of the big draws are all the photo-worthy spots created around the farm for this event, from the tarot reading room to the coffins one can stand in — with or without a skeleton — as well as, of course, all of the goats, Crihfield said.
“We didn’t skimp on the pumpkins, they’re huge,” Crihfield said about the pumpkin patch on the other side of the maze. The goats themselves were excited to help out with creating the jack-o’-lanterns, with one goat even getting her head stuck inside the pumpkin.
“Some will climb right up onto your table to angle for food,” Abell said.
There will also be a concession stand for drinks, corn dogs and ice cream. Animal feed is also available, but with the pumpkin readily available, it might not be necessary to have animal feed in-hand to lure the goats in for a selfie.
When the herd of goats were asked if they wanted some pumpkin, they bleated “yeah-eah-eah!”
Olive, a first time mother of two new baby goats, flashed the side-eye when asked about her feelings towards pumpkin as she chewed on fresh straw. While her two babies, born just the night before, might not have been interested in consuming any pumpkin at the moment, they are available for cuddles and enjoy being held.
With the first round of midterms over, students might find playing with the goats to be a welcome relief from their studies. Or, perhaps, attendees will enjoy attacking a pumpkin with a knife. A tarot reading might even help give students insight into whether or not they should change their major. Really, whatever floats their goat.
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