Field of sunflowers at sunset
Field of sunflowers at Beasley Orchard

Beasley’s Orchard Ready for Sunflower Season

Beasley’s Orchard in Danville is giving residents a chance to enjoy sunflowers close to home.

Beasley’s Orchard is a third-generation farm in Danville, started by Milton and Irene Beasley in 1946. Over the years, what began as a livestock farm on 80 acres eventually became a 165-acre agritourism destination.

By the 1980s families were taking trips to Beasley’s each fall to enjoy a traditional hayride and U-pick pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. In 1986 the first Heartland Apple Festival was held on the farm and quickly became a community tradition.

When the youngest generation came home from college in 2015, there was a huge shift to invest in agritourism, and in fact the family was one of the first in central Indiana to adopt the agri-tourism business model.

Two girls smiling and hugging in a sunflower field
Family photoshoot in a sunflower field

It seems like every year something new is added, from U-pick opportunities to festival days. The annual Sunflower Festival is a three-week event in late July or early August.

“We started the Sunflower Festival in 2020,” said Jim Finley, marketing manager. “We wanted something fun for guests that would arrive a little earlier than our well-known fall season.”

Residents in Hendricks County and visitors across the state welcomed the addition wholeheartedly. More than 10,000 people typically visit over the three weekends. This year Beasley’s will be open throughout the week for the sunflowers too. The vast fields are something to behold, if for no other reason than to see them, but there are other benefits as well.

“There are over eight acres of sunflower blooms,” Finley said. “They get to be four and a half feet tall, and I think just scanning over the tops of all of those flowers amazes people. Most of them are yellow but we also have red, orange and multicolored flowers. It’s hard to have a bad time when you’re surrounded by a bunch of sunflowers.”

Visitors can cut one sunflower free with the cost of a ticket, but there are options to pick a bouquet in the unlimited stem bucket for an additional fee.

Like much of the agricultural world, the Beasley’s staff members don’t know exactly when the bloom will happen until a week or two ahead of time, so things often happen quickly, from announcing the festival to last-minute entertainment. What they know for sure is the festival includes highly anticipated activities visitors look forward to year after year.

Thousands want to have their photo taken against the beautiful backdrop of sunflowers and sunset, or the clear blue sky and colors of yellow, green and more.

Given the wild popularity of photo opportunities, Beasley’s has made a little change to the usual guidelines regarding photography. Typically, professional photographers are required to schedule and pay a fee for use of the farm. For the Sunflower Festival, it’s fair game.

“We ask that everyone pays their admission and photographers are welcome,” Finley said. “It’s not uncommon for photographers to have three or four sessions per day and we want to keep it easy for everyone.”

In addition, the sunflower event will bring all of the fun expected for fall festivals.

“There will be food trucks, beer and wine vendors, snacks, and the Barnyard Bonanza will be open,” Finley said.

The Barnyard Bonanza features the jumbo jumping pillow, sports target toss, cornhole, apple cannons and other activities for the entire family.

In addition, the Civil War-era Barn Market will be open, and will feature homegrown produce from the farm as well as locally sourced produce, including homemade apple cider (an award winner), homemade baked goods and more.

“It’s quite a bit of maintenance,” Finley added. “We’re fertilizing, watering and weeding during the hot summer season. Every aspect of the farm takes a lot of maintenance. Mother Nature often has her own game plan so that can be a challenge.”

All of the maintenance and care put forth at the farm will pay off as Beasley’s moves into the fall season.

The popular U-Pick season begins in late May and June with U-pick strawberries. In June and July visitors can participate in U-pick raspberries. The sunflowers then emerge along with U-pick apples by mid-August.

Sunrise at a sunflower field

They’re particularly looking forward to apple picking season.

“There are multiple reasons to visit the farm all year long,” Finley said. “Over the past three years the farm was severely impacted by a late spring frost. It sort of diminished the apple crop. This year we did not have that late front so we’re excited that the apple crop looks phenomenal. I think we’ll have more apple picking than we’ve ever had in 2024.”

Also new this year, the fall festivities will begin a week earlier than usual on September 14. Opening weekend is September 14 and 15, and will include hayrides, a trip to the pumpkin patch, the popular corn maze with a bicentennial theme, apple cannons, straw mountain and other Barnyard Bonanza activities.

Hometown Heroes will return on September 21 and 22, with a focus on expressing thanks to local first responders and military personnel. Those men and women receive free admission and their immediate family members receive 50% off of admission.

The Heartland Apple Festival is September 28 and 29, and October 5 and 6. Enjoy two full weekends featuring live music, craft vendors, balloon magic, face painting and other activities.

Dog Daze at the Maze is October 12 and 13, and brings our furry four-legged friends to the farm. The weekend includes pet costume contests, talent shows and local animal rescue groups.

Finally, Halloween festivities will be on the horizon, October 19 and 20, and October 26 and 27, with pumpkin carving contests, pumpkin picking, candy giveaways and costume contests.

Even when the fall comes to a close, visitors can still catch Christmas at the Orchard, offering a special holiday-themed event. It makes Beasley’s a go-to location, more than six months of the year.

Finley said one of their most common questions is regarding the four-legged family members in our lives. Beasley’s is pet friendly. Just keep your furry friends on a leash and pick up after them.

“Our slogan is ‘Harvesting Family Memories,’” Finley said. “When you do all of this hard work and then see the customers come out and truly enjoy the farm, it makes it all worth it.”

Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

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