By Lindsey McLemore | Reporter
For 11 years, Waco families have flocked to the pumpkin patch at Central Christian Church, Waco.
Every October, the church’s grassy hill is covered in pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Families are invited to pick pumpkins, share stories, play with their pets and even watch a movie.
“I look forward to working in the patch every year,” said Lynda Skeen, a church deacon. “I enjoy being able to work in the patch and watch children explore and find their pumpkins.”
Local schools often bring students to the pumpkin patch for field trips where Skeen, a retired first-grade teacher, reads to students.
“One of my favorite things about working in the pumpkin patch every year is having story time with some of the younger children,” Skeen said.
The church also hosts a movie night in the pumpkin patch every year.
Fans of their Facebook page were asked to vote for their favorite Halloween movie. “Hotel Transylvania” won by a landslide and will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday in the pumpkin patch on a 28-foot screen rented from the Waco Hippodrome Theatre.
The event is free, but local food trucks will be on site with food available for purchase. Blankets and chairs are welcome at the pumpkin patch for movie night, but pets are not.
Kristin Jack, minister for families at Central Christian Church, works to give back as much of the funds raised by the pumpkin patch to the Waco community as possible.
“We get our pumpkins from an organization called Pumpkins USA that helps resource more than 1,300 non profit organizations like ours around the country,” Jack said.
Proceeds are divided among the children and youth ministries to help them give back to the community.
“We always give at least 10 percent of our profits to the Mission Waco Toy Store,” Jack said. “In November, we take our youth groups shopping to pick out their favorite toys to donate to Mission Waco, and last year we chose to donate to Caritas as well.”
The remaining funds are used in community engagement and charitable efforts throughout the rest of the year.
The pumpkin patch at Central Christian Church is located at 4901 Lake Shore Dr. and open every day 10 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., until Oct. 31.