The Fate of Fall Festivals

Madison Smith , News Editor

Fall festivals may be permanently shut down due to Covid-19

Local businesses are deciding to cancel or encourage their annual fall festivals because of COVID-19 complications, affecting the local Woodbridge area.

COVID-19 caused a lot of hardships in the past year, forcing people to quarantine and reducing attraction to small businesses. An example is the Lake Ridge Plant Nursery. This local business usually celebrates the Autumn season with Halloween-themed bouncy houses, hay bale photo shoots, and fun crafts. However, the pandemic affected their holiday plans.

“We didn’t decorate for the festival last year due to COVID-19 and we figured it was safer to cancel it this year as well,” an anonymous nursery worker comments.

Although the Lake Ridge Plant Nursery will not host a large celebration like previous years, they are still celebrating the fall season with autumn-flavored candies, apple cider, autumn flowers and plenty of pumpkins to go around. Their pumpkins are 69 cents per pound. 

Despite this decision, there are farms close by where you can still find holiday fun!

Activities Close to Home:

Sweets, crafts, and desserts galore! Chic Events DC is celebrating another autumn season on Saturday, October 30th from 10am to 4pm. All of this and more is available at the Old Town Manassas Holiday Craft Fair, located at Manassas Museum Lawn, 9101 Prince William St, Manassas, VA 20110. Halloween is right around the corner and here you can enter a pet-friendly Halloween costume parade from 2:30-3PM! There will be live entertainment and a children’s costume parade starting at 1pm.

If you are someone who enjoys outdoor activities and the chillier seasons, then you are in luck! Now is the best time to go and visit Neabsco Creek Boardwalk! You can find this trail at Rippon Landing Park at 15125 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge. This park is pet-friendly and there is no entry fee. The trail is 1.7 miles of smooth terrain and provides a wooden pathway with paved areas.

Festivals farther out:

DePaul’s Urban Farm located at 2599 Chain Bridge Rd, Vienna, Virginia, is continuing their annual fall festival. There is no entry free and visitors can expect a large pumpkin assortment; their prices range from 79 cents to 89 cents per pound. Guests can also look forward to apple cider and hay bale setups that are wonderful for Autumn-themed family photos! 

Families can also attend the annual fall festival at the Reston Farm Garden Market, located at 10800 Baron Cameron Ave, Reston, Virginia. The festival is only hosted on weekends and will take place all throughout October. The entry fee is $28 for children over the age of 2 and $6 for adults. Travelers can enjoy activities such as train rides, corn mazes, basketball games, bouncy houses, and a live DJ. One of their most popular attractions is the anti bullying corn maze; children are told a story as they travel throughout the maze to teach them about the dangers of bullying. There will be face painting stations and food trucks, but these are not included with a ticket purchase. Their pumpkin prices begin at 79 cents per pound; small pumpkins are as low as $9 and the larger pumpkins range from $16-$20.

Yankey farms is another option for families to enjoy the Fall season. If you are looking for just pumpkin picking you do not have to pay an entry fee, and you only pay for the pumpkins you buy. If you are looking to bring your family here, the tickets are $6 per person. Purchasing a ticket includes activities such as hayrides, viewing farm animals, children’s playground, and a barrel train ride. All of this is available at 14039 Owls Nest Rd, Nokesville, VA 20181.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted small businesses, these local leaders have persevered during this difficult time and made the best of what they have. Our local plant nursery may be shutting down its Fall season celebration, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! There are plenty of farms close by still celebrating this pumpkin season!