More than 2,000 people visited Collegeville Orchards in St. Joseph for its Fall Festival on Oct. 13 and 14.
Visitors could choose from 20 different varieties of apples, pick a pumpkin, visit the petting zoo, take a wagon ride, visit the vintage store and many other activities.
Todd Beumer, co-owner of Collegeville Orchards, and family members were busy helping visitors enjoy the festival.
“We try to provide a fun time for families,” Beumer said.
Beumer and his wife, Cherie, have owned the orchards for the past 14 years. Beumer also operates a long-term landscaping business called Beumer Outdoors.
Beumer attended Rocori High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial studies from St. Cloud State University. Cherie Beumer attended Cathedral High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She works as a speech pathologist for the Melrose school system. The Beumers have two children – Alex, 8; and Maya, 3.
Todd’s sister, Lisa Beumer, and her friend, Mallory Dingmann, were busy at the face-painting area. Visitors Grace Rustad, 2; Kira Bristol, 6; and Josiah Bristol, 8, decided to get their faces painted. Parents Steve and Tara Rustad from North Minneapolis were visiting Tara’s parents in St. Cloud, who were babysitting the Bristol children. Grace chose a butterfly, and Josiah and Kira chose bats for a Halloween theme.
Erin Bakke from St. Cloud photographed her 21-month-old daughter, Mya, in front of the vintage country store. The store offered visitors a chance to buy apples, squash and other garden produce. The store also offers a variety of jams, syrups, honey, fall decorations and other items.
Chris and Nicole Kircher brought their children, Victoria, 10, and Brody, 4, to the festival. They picked out pumpkins and apples and visited the petting zoo. The children eagerly pulled their red wagon, with pumpkins, to the weighing station for worker, Scott Willenbring, to weigh. The Kirchers had visited two years ago and decided to come back again.
Amy Nelson of Mora brought her three children Ledgyn, 5; Stratton, 3; and Marek, 3. Nelson’s mother had heard about it at work and they decided to check it out. Nelson’s children enjoyed visiting the petting zoo with their friend Drake Sharp.
“They are very excited,” Nelson said.
The petting zoo offered visitors a chance to see sheep, alpacas, a miniature horse, a donkey, goats, ducks and other animals.
Collegeville Orchards was also the first stop on the sixth annual Back Roads Pottery Tour. Joel Cherrico and Jasper Bond displayed their pottery for the tour. Cherrico attended Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated with an art degree from St. John’s University. He said he has been able to pay his rent in St. Joseph for the past two years through his local sales. Cherrico said his pottery is used and sold at the Local Blend in St. Joseph.