Annual event at Kool Breeze Farms draws biggest numbers to date
SUMMERSIDE — Thousands of visitors flooded the fields at Kool Breeze Farms on Sunday, attracted by the annual Scarecrow Festival and the Open Farm Day events at the Read’s Corner site.
© Michael Nesbitt/Journal Pioneer
Sharing the Kool Breeze Farms corn maze tower with a scarecrow was no problem for Matthew and Sarah-Beth Murphy, as long as mom and dad were around to safely lead them out again during Sunday’s annual Scarecrow Festival, which drew hundreds of visitors.
Kool Breeze Farms owner Ian Simmons judged it one of the best events the business has ever hosted, which he credited to the effort of staff and local volunteers.
“It’s a good, family event. The Lions Club ran the potato-sack, three-legged, big bale and egg races. The Three Oaks (senior high) students were looking after the parking and the corn maze, and also had a bake sale,” said Simmons.
“Allan Sonier was doing the singing. We had four tractors providing hayrides. There was the maze, face tattoos and pumpkin decorating (among the cornstalks).
“It’s all just fun stuff, things kids don’t normally get to do.”
Kool Breeze Farms employees do much of the design and construction for the annual event. Visitors, especially the young, thrilled to giant straw bale spiders and dogs and plenty of plain bale piles to conquer.
“Our staff is a big part of this whole operation, and we greatly appreciate the effort they put into it, for sure,” said Simmons.
He assessed the day as a great success, as people starting showing up before the official opening, and a significant number were still enjoying themselves on the various play spaces after the official finish hour.
Cars were lined up along Read Drive all afternoon, and parked in fields behind the farm’s greenhouses.
Simmons noted that the variety of activities was pretty standard for the business, and attributed the excellent attendance as a weather phenomenon.
“On P.E.I. it’s all about the weather,” he joked.
Also contributing to the record attendance was the Open Farm Day participation.
“If you went on one of our wagon rides, you’d get a brief history of the farm, the activities we have, our wind turbines and differences between the types of corn we grow here — sweet, peaches and cream, yellow and feed (cow) corn — plus the fact they get to look at some potatoes that a neighbour grows on our land,” he explained of the educational side of the event.
“They also got to enjoy the ride, and the fact of a tractor pulling the wagon. Not many families get to enjoy that.”
Scarecrows were the title event and the judging was divided into business-organization and individual-family categories. Winners of the scarecrow design competition were decided from ballots cast by visitors.
Summerside U-14 Premier Girls Soccer team earned first place as an organization, with players using a pumpkin soccer ball. Second place went to Bug-a-Boo Cottages, using a horse pulling a wheelchair style carriage, and third place went to a Mike Duffy effigy designed by Poole and Corkum Certified General Accountants.
Katherine Mintie’s Minions earned top honours in the individual/family category, with Griffin Blanchard’s Lady Di scarecrow capturing hearts for second place, while Gail McKie ball team was voted the third-place ribbon.
In the live category, Connor Clark took top honours, Addison MacAusland was runner-up and Abby May took third place.
While some parents had to make their way to the corn maze tower and call their kids home, there were no reports of anyone being lost.