TIME TO HAVE A BLAST

Dell’Osso Farm Pump­kin Maze is back

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - By DEN­NIS WYATT The Bul­letin

Ron Dell’Osso has started har­vest­ing pump­kin blaster “ammo” as a Lathrop tra­di­tion gets ready to open for a month-long run on Satur­day.

More than 200,000 small orange and white squash raised as minia­ture pump­kins are ex­pected to be stuffed into the bar­rels of cus­tom bazooka like pump­kin blasters in a bid to smash them against metal tar­gets dur­ing the 32-day run of the 21st an­nual Dell’Osso Fam­ily Farm Pump­kin Maze.

The low tech, out­door event that fea­tures ev­ery­thing from a mas­sive corn maze, zip lines, haunted house and gi­ant hu­man-mas­ter style pump­kin ball races to a pump­kin patch opens Satur­day, Sept. 30, and runs through Tues­day, Oct. 31. The farm at Man­they Road off In­ter­state 5 be­tween the 120 By­pass and In­ter­state 205 in­ter­changes opens daily at 10 a.m. with the last en­try at 8 p.m. At­trac­tions start clos­ing at 9 p.m.

Open­ing week­end is ar­guably the best time to visit as crowds are small, the fore­cast calls for near per­fect weather, and the corn maze is fresh.

It’s the only week­end where there are vir­tu­ally no lines for the wildly pop­u­lar pump-

kin blasters, one of the few at­trac­tions not in­cluded in the gen­eral ad­mis­sion price. A bucket of “ammo” — about a dozen in all — costs $6.

The big at­trac­tion for the open­ing Satur­day for pump­kin blaster die-hards is the fact the tar­gets — that typ­i­cally in­cludes ve­hi­cles — are mostly with­out dents and have glass in­tact. The weapons of “smash” de­struc­tion have been clocked at up to 120 mph com­ing out of the blasters as they sail to­ward tar­gets.

“It’s amaz­ing how it (the pump­kin maze) has be­come a low-tech tra­di­tion for fam­i­lies,” Su­san Dell’Osso said. “We get peo­ple who came here as kids who are now bring­ing their kids back year after year.”

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion in­cludes un­lim­ited ac­cess to the corn maze, haunted cas­tle, the scare­crow ride with an in­ter­na­tional theme this year, Dell’Osso Ex­press Train, hay ride, mys­tery tour, gi­ant pump­kin ball races, tire pyra­mid, Dell’Osso Speed­way pedal cars, pet­ting zoo, ball shoot arena, lawn games, walk­ing the plank, su­per slide, kid­die play land, kid­die Fer­ris wheel, kid­die coaster, kid­die swings, spin­ning pump­kins, pillow jump­ing, and chil­dren’s in­ter­ac­tive crit­ter.

The gen­eral ad­mis­sion also in­cludes two new fea­tures — an en­ter­tain­ment stage aimed at de­light­ing kids and pig races.

The at­trac­tions that have sep­a­rate prices is the gem min­ing for $6, pump­kin blasters for $6, zip lines for $8 to $12, pony rides for $6, and pump­kin paint­ing for $5. Food, mer­chan­dise, pump­kins and sea­sonal gifts are avail­able for pur­chase and not in­cluded in the gen­eral ad­mis­sion. park­ing is free.

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets are $13.95 per per­son Mon­day through Thurs­day and $17.95 per per­son Fri­day through Sun­day. Early bird en­try be­fore 2 p.m. on Mon­day through Fri­day is $10.95 per per­son. Chil­dren 2 years old and un­der are free. All tick­ets are sold only on the premises.

Dell’Osso Farms is again host­ing a preevent dubbed Spe­cial Day at the Farm on Fri­day morn­ing in con­junc­tion with the Stock­ton Ki­wa­nis Club. About 2,000 spe­cial needs kids from through­out the North­ern San Joaquin Val­ley will be treated to the free event.

HIME ROMERO/The Bul­letin

A boy gets ready to load ammo in a pump­kin blaster.

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