r In 1945, Lenard Harward began farming in Springville, Utah. Today, his son Jud Harward, and two grandsons, Lenny and Jake, have grown the family farm into a large diversified agri-business that covers many divisions. One of those divisions is Jaker’s Jack-O-Lanterns in Springville.
My husband and I visited this enterprise last week. We paid the $4 ($2 each) admission and took a walk among haystacks, pumpkins, children and parents. It was a very interesting experience. One of the first attractions is a huge corn(sand)box. It is filled with loose kernels of corn for children (and parents) to play in. The corn box is divided into two sections on each side of a semi-tractor trailer. Inside the trailer is a small maze made of bales of hay. The whole time we were there we witnessed children of all ages enjoying the corn kernels. The children are barefooted for even more fun. The best part is the corn and hay bales can still be used to feed farm animals after Halloween is over.
While my husband took photos of the crowd, I talked with several people. One of these was the mother of two young girls. They live in the apartments near the pumpkin lot. The family had watched the lot being put together, and the girls couldn’t wait to be able to play there. I am sure they will be back many times.
I asked a father from Provo how long he had been bringing his children to the lot. He said they have come every year since it opened 11 years ago. His oldest child is 22 years old and is now a parent. The father was there with his teenage daughter and youngest child who is three. I asked him if price was a factor, and he said it was part of it, but the best part is that when you get inside they don’t nickel and dime you to death. The other thing that impressed my husband and I was the benches throughout the park where parents could sit and watch their children have fun.
There are tables with tic-tac-toe games painted on them. Children use orange and white pumpkins as the x’s and o’s on the boards. There is a big stack of hay bales the children can climb on, and slides they can roll pumpkins down to see if they break. There is a huge fleet of wheelbarrows and wagons to transport the pumpkins (or children). I remember riding in a wheelbarrow when I was a child and how much fun it was. Of course they have the traditional flatbed wagon with hay on it for hayrides around the lot and through the cornfield. There were goats, calves and a kangaroo on the lot the children could see close up, and touch at the petting zoo. A great visual attraction is “Deedles Tower of Pumpkins” which is a metal silo in the park and they have hung wire all around it and covered it will pumpkins. The whole place is fun and amazing and a great place to watch people enjoy themselves.