Blessed by fine fall weather, a huge pumpkin patch sprouted Saturday on the grounds of St. Luke's Parish, greeting visitors to the church's Harvest Festival.
The glowing golden crop -- 700 pumpkins in all -- were a new feature at the annual harvest fest, complementing the seasonal bounty of autumnal activities on the parish Turkey Hill Road North grounds. The event continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"All the proceeds go to the charities we support in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Westport -- about five or six organizations in all," said Alice Davidson, the chairwoman of St. Luke's Pumpkin Committee. "We have always had the Harvest Fair, with 20 or so vendors. The Pumpkin Patch was a new addition this year, suggested by Monsignor Andy Varga."
Davidson said the pumpkins were grown on a farm in New Mexico and trucked to Westport during the past week. At the parish, they were divided up by size and priced accordingly at varying levels, from 50 cents to $30. The orange orbs shone brightly Saturday morning as families arrived and began combing through the stock.
Kids also flocked to the craft activities, which included making yarn spiders with googly eyes, Halloween masks on sticks and seasonally themed face-painting.
Inside several St. Luke common rooms, vendors set up an array of booths. In one room, featured were jewelry, home accessories and even artwork, like Westport resident Kelly Harman's framed notebook doodles. The latter were actual pages from her class notebooks at Lynn University, on which she created elaborate detailed sketches of things like dragons and mermaids.
In another room, there was everything from samples of barbecue sauce and cracker spread to crocheted animals and clothing.
One of the more popular spots was the baked goods room, where dozens of plates of treats baked by parishioners were arranged.
Cassie Lang of Westport was buying some of the cookies with her mother Amy. "I love the cookies here, and we are able to get a little Christmas shopping done at the same time," she said.