Crestview church features pumpkin patch running through Oct. 31

Pumpkin patch

Children from Wesley Academy's pre-kindergarten class eye a pile of small pumpkins at St. Mark United Methodist Church’s pumpkin patch in Crestview.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012 at 06:39 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Wesley Academy's pre-kindergarten class was the first group of students to visit a pumpkin patch at St. Mark United Methodist Church on Wednesday.

This is the third year that the church — which gets its pumpkins from New Mexico — has presented a pumpkin patch, according to student minister April Hight.

The event annually attracts North Okaloosa schools.

"We are expecting to have several area schools, including Antioch and Northwood (Elementary), visit in the next couple of weeks," Hight said. "We are expecting to have around 750 students."

 Children ages 2 through 4, from Wesley Academy's pre-kindergarten class, were the first to visit the patch. The academy, part of St. Mark church, started the morning in the arts and crafts room coloring paper-scarecrow puppets. Kids also played games outside. The activities included a kid's-size bowling area and a large metal container for little ones to throw balls into.

After the games, students gathered under a large oak tree near the church and listened to story time and live music from church members Eli Willis and Miranda Gomez. Gomez fittingly read Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, "The Pumpkin Patch Parable." Willis played his guitar and encouraged kids to sing along to the classic children's songs "Old MacDonald " and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

Students also decorated a cookie and picked out a small pumpkin with their parents’ help.

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