Universal City Fall Fest seeks volunteers
Organizers of the second annual Universal City Fall Fest are anxious to get their pumpkin delivery next week so they can open the monthlong celebration of daily pumpkin sales and weekend special events.
Regina Carmona, Universal City events coordinator, said 150 to 200 volunteers will be needed to unload the thousands of pumpkins that will arrive Oct. 3 for the Oct. 6-31 pumpkin patch and fall festival.
“We want it to be fun for them, too. We’ll have thousands of pumpkins to unload,” she said. “We welcome people of any age, even small kids, who can help with the ‘baby’ pumpkins.”
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the city’s pumpkin delivery last year.
“All of the truckers were busy shipping relief supplies following Harvey last year. That’s what delayed our shipment,” she said. “We only got two-thirds of a truckload, and that’s because someone else could not take their shipment, so they offered it to us, and we took it.”
The success of last year’s Fall Fest helped set this year’s calendar, with a few added features.
“We’re bringing back all of our Saturday events,” she said. “The thing I love the most is the benefits. This touches a little bit of everybody here in Universal City.”
Two new features are food trucks on weekends and an adults-only Wine On The Vine night.
“We’ve added food vendors this year, to give people more opportunities while they are there,” Carmona said. “One of the things we learned last year was that people hung out, they stayed here. We thought people would come, pick out a pumpkin and go. But people stayed, hung out and made a day of it. The food trucks will just add to that appeal.”
Wine On The Vine is slated for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 14. For $20, adults 21 and older will receive four wine-tasting coupons, enjoy live music, get a pumpkin to paint, and be able to enjoy the pumpkin patch as the sun begins to set.
Pumpkins will be on sale 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, with local organizations and schools the beneficiary of proceeds. Volunteers will assist families at the patch with activities and help turn pumpkins. Children younger than 16 can volunteer, with adult supervision.
Each weekend features a different attraction. Oct. 6 will feature a Fire Station Open House next door to the pumpkin patch, located behind the City Hall-Police Department building at 2150 Universal City Blvd. The fire station is next door, and the Fire Department will host station tours, CPR demonstrations and a fire prevention show from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Oct. 13 is the Fall Fair Day. Features include hayrides, a turkey shoot, a pie-eating contest, face-painting, craft vendors, pumpkin painting and “cream the council,” when City Council members take seats on a trailer and “take it on the chin” via pans filled with whipped cream.
Oct. 20 is Kids Day. Admission is free to the pumpkin patch, and games, activities and prizes will be aimed at the 10-and-younger crowd. Among the activities will be a petting zoo and inflatables. Also on the docket are face-painting, pumpkin-painting, and hayrides.
The final weekend, Oct. 27, is Family Fun Fright Night. “Trunk Or Treat” is offered, where kids in costumes can trick-or-treat at organization’s “trunks” filled with treats.
“We have an area for organizations to park their vehicles, which they decorate pretty elaborately,” Carmona said. “We already have more sign-ups than last year and encourage more.”
Any business or organization that wishes to participate has to be able to supply 600 treats. “We have a reward for ‘Best Decorated Trunk,’” she said. “Last year’s winner was Greener Grooming, and they are coming back to defend their title.”
Another feature of Fright Night is a pumpkin-carving contest. Entrants can win $25, $50 or $100.
Anyone wishing to help unload pumpkins, volunteer at the pumpkin patch, participate in Trunk Or Treat, or find out more information can contact Carmona at 210-659-0333, ext. 721.