Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

The Return of Venetucci Pumpkins

For decades, children have come to the Venetucci Farm to pick out just the right pumpkin.

Venetucci pumpkins
The decades old tradition of school children picking out their pumpkins is back this year at the Venetucci Farm after a year without pumpkins. Students from Pikes Peak Elementary School in District 2 run through rows of pumpkins on the way to picking out the perfect pumpkin on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Last year, a severe summer hailstorm coupled with water contamination issues resulted in a pumpkin-less year for the beloved farm. Since last year, produce samples have been sent to a certified lab in Canada and researchers at the Colorado School of Mines and UCCS, according to a press release sent from the farm in August. After reviewing the data on produce residue levels, the state epidemiologist confirmed that "the identified levels were well below the health screening levels for fruits and vegetables". In the 1950's, farmer Nick Venetucci started the tradition of giving away pumpkins to school children. Since then, millions have been given away. Once before there was a year without pumpkins, In 2002, a severe drought resulted in no pumpkins. Pumpkins can be bought by the public this Saturday, October 7 from 12 a.m. to 3 p.m and Saturday, October 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A local non-profit, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, keeps the Venetucci tradition alive. Venetucci died in 2004 and there is a statue to honor him adjacent to the Pioneers Museum. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
Venetucci pumpkins
Easton Reynolds looks for her pumpkin.. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
Venetucci pumpkins
Easton Reynolds looks for her pumpkin.. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
Venetucci pumpkins
Her favorite pumpkin-Easton Reynolds. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0
rescue Mission
Venetucci pumpkin giveaway 2017 (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Buy Photo
0