Patrons and visitors had a great time picking pumpkins at Alberta Prairie Railway’s pumpkin patch

Over 1K visitors at Alberta Prairie Railway’s pumpkin patch

Patrons and visitors from all over the province came to attend Alberta Prairie Railway's Harvest Pumpkin Fest, riding the special trains...

Patrons and visitors from all over the province came to attend Alberta Prairie Railway’s Harvest Pumpkin Fest, riding the special trains that took them to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, Oct. 15.

According to Bob Willis, general manager of Alberta Prairie Railway, there was a very slight decrease in the total numbers this year from those of 2014 and 2015, with 1,082 attendees this year.

But, he attributes this to the “challenging” weather, more than the economic downturn, explaining, “The number of visitors to Alberta Prairie during 2016, month to month and over the balance of season, is actually up and not down from 2014 and 2015.”

It was easy to see how happy and engaged the kids and young adults were as they waited to board the train to the patch.

One of the visitors this year, and a returning passenger Elena Waugh thanked Willis in an email saying, “Just wanted to say thank you for the over-the-top excellent job of the pumpkin train again this year.”

Waugh said that the service, magicians, and amazing pumpkin carvings made for a wonderful experience.

“Even though the weather would have been a challenge, we thought you couldn’t have handled it any better,” said Waugh. “Thank you for all your hard work and we’ll see you again next year.”

This year being the third annual event, Willis said that it was by far the most challenging given the onset of wintry conditions.

“Over the last few months more than 15,000 guests have visited Alberta Prairie and many of these people stay over in hotels and those that don’t often stop for meals, snacks and tanks of gas,” added Willis. “A significant number actually spend time shopping at various businesses around town, which all helps to offset some of the downturn in the economy.”

Willis said that in addition to providing employment of Alberta Prairie Railway’s office and maintenance staff, Harvest Pumpkin Fest used a number of people provided by the Stettler P & H Elevator Preservation Society and the Rocky Mountain Rail Society in return for Alberta Prairie’s continuing support of these two organizations.

Alberta Prairie’s next big event is the Polar Express Train Rides in December.

“It is expected that with the 30 Polar Express trips being offered, between 9,000 and 10,000 people will visit Stettler during the month of December, many of whom will be staying over, with most needing gas and meals,” said Willis. “No doubt there will be some families who decide to do some serious Christmas shopping while they are in town.”

Just Posted

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Stettler armed robber convicted in court Oct. 12

Jayson Marshall gets over two years in jail

CORRECTED Donalda Creamery plans on tap Oct. 23

Architects to answer public’s questions about plans

WATCH: ASIRT investigating officer-involved shooting during crime spree

Shots fired on two occasions during incidents, one suspect remains in hospital with serious injuries

Drumheller RCMP investigate human remains

Police find human remains in burning vehicle near Morrin

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Downie had been fighting brain cancer for over a year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.