Photographer / Robby Berry
On Saturday, October 16, Fishers AgriPark will again host its Fall Festival. Unlike last year, preregistration is not required, and patrons can attend the event any time during the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission for the day full of activities is free.
Information about the festival including a schedule and map will be available at a check-in tent. The park, which spans more than 30 acres, will have a pumpkin giveaway on one side and food trucks on the other. In between, attendees can enjoy inflatables, a corn maze, music and games. Around 1,000 people attended the 2020 festival, and at least that many are expected this year.
The purpose of the festival is to showcase the park’s goal of educating and inspiring people of all ages to learn about our agricultural roots, as well as current farming practices. Visitors can tour the wildflower garden and view native Indiana plants. Children can enjoy the nature play area that was developed in a partnership with Reynolds Farm Equipment, and play in the mud kitchen, which is a discovery area with little sinks and running water.
The AgriPark is open from May until the end of October, and features six acres of vegetable fields. More than five acres of corn and sunflowers were planted in six staggered periods, in order for the resulting crops to be available throughout the growing season. Visitors to the park receive a box and can pick vegetables for free. The produce giveaway ended in September, but four acres of pumpkins and gourds are ready for the mid-October festival. There is also a five-acre tree nursery, which will be used to supply trees to other Fishers parks in the future.
“This year we sold 50 farm shares,” says Trevor Wildey, operations manager. “It is similar to a community-supported agriculture program. From the beginning of June to the end of August, participants picked up a box with 10 to 15 pounds of vegetables in it each week. We also began a partnership with Hamilton Southeastern Schools this year. Second-graders came out to the farm to learn about how food is grown and animals are raised. Next year we plan to have 1,600 students participate. We also offer educational programming for adults and older students with developmental disabilities.”
The park closes to the community on October 31. However, the facility has a heated barn, and pop-up events like flower-arranging classes will still be held from time to time. These activities will be announced on social media through the park’s Facebook and Instagram pages. A list of the park’s activities can also be found on the Fishers Parks website.
“Even after the park is closed for the season, there are things to be done,” Wildey says. “A lot of planning and prep goes on, from picking out seeds to working on infrastructure.”