Pumpkin patch drew an estimated 6K people

DOWNEY – Smashing all previous records, the “Pumpkin Patch” celebration in Apollo Park brought nearly 6,000 kids and their parents together for an evening of extraordinary Halloween food and fun. Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Downey, Soroptimist International of Downey and the City of Downey, the Pumpkin Patch provided a safe and enjoyable Halloween for thousands of area residents.
The totals of food given away were staggering—more than 4,000 hot dogs, several thousand balloons and more than 200 cases of soft drinks. Volunteers popped 200 pounds of popcorn and used 125 pounds of sugar to make cotton candy.
“We’ve been doing the Pumpkin Patch for many years, but we’ve never seen a crowd like this,” said event chair Sam Mathis. “We are so thankful for the many volunteers from the Soroptimists, the City and many other adult and student clubs.”
For example, more than 30 members of the Warren High School Humanitarian Society served as volunteers.
“We wish to thank the dozens of Pumpkin Patch sponsors, from the Rio Hondo Event Center that provided the hot dogs to the Coca Cola Company that provided the soft drinks to the Lunday Thagard Company and the many businesses whose financial support makes this event possible each year,” Sam said.
In addition to the fabulous food, there were many fun games for the kids to play and a costume contests for every age group of children.
“Soroptimist President Sue Potter, who spent most of the evening handing out hot dogs to delighted kids, said, “this was a lot of work and a lot of fun. Seeing the delighted smiles of so many children was a real highlight for us.”
Downey’s Emergency Operations Chief Mark Sauter, who is also the immediate Past President of the Optimist Club of Downey, was one of many who worked from morning until late at night to assure the success of the event. “It makes you feel good to see so many kids having a safe and happy Halloween,” he said. “We are very thankful for all the support not only from the City Community Services team, but with the many, many student and adult volunteers who make this event a very special one for the kids.”
Former Downey Mayor and current Optimist President Meredith Perkins, who spent much of the evening blowing up helium balloons for kids, said, “The community really looks forward to this event, and the partnership that makes it happen each year is something every resident of Downey can be proud of. Looking at the thousands of smiles from these wonderful kids, I’d have to say that this was Downey’s greatest Halloween ever!”