By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Two flatbed truckloads of pumpkins have been delivered to Simon Meadow—kicking off October and the official start of the Halloween season.

For more than 40 years, the Palisades-Malibu YMCA has hosted a pumpkin patch to give Palisadians a local haunt to purchase their pumpkins while raising funds to support year-round programs at the Y.

Though Palisades-Malibu YMCA Executive Director Jim Kirtley does not have an exact number of pumpkins, he estimated it to be in the thousands—turning “the brown hill orange.”

The patch offers a range of all different sizes, shapes, colors and prices—starting at $2 and going up to $100. This year, there are new offerings, including Warty Minion Pumpkins and Snake gourds. 

“All of the money stays here in the community,” Kirtley explained, adding that some visitors don’t even realize the patch is a YMCA fundraiser.

Proceeds will benefit various financial assistance programs, including help with camp, Youth and Government, membership and more.

“We give out about $100,000 of financial assistance throughout the year,” Kirtley said.

Throughout October, the patch also hosts school field trips. Students search for a spider that has been painted on the bottom of a pumpkin and the one who finds it gets to bring the pumpkin back to the classroom.

Another facet of the patch is the Winding Way Walk, a walking, talking, meditative walk designed by Palisadians Tracey Price and Cindy Simon, as well as the Dollies Making A Difference organization.

“The year’s theme is focused on upcycling,” Kirtley shared. On the weekends, Winding Way features arts and crafts for kids, which will focus on the selected theme.

Other festivities include a hay maze for younger kids, photo props, and hay bales for families and kids to take pictures on.

The patch will be open Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., until they sell out.

The Santa Monica College art department will host its annual glass sale at the patch on Saturday, October 6, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.