Dell’Osso scares grab patrons

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SCARY: A scarecrow at Dell’Osso Family Farm in Lathrop. PHOTO BY VALERIE SMITH

Lathrop’s Dell’Osso Farms opens its gates for its 15th annual Pumpkin Maze on Sept. 29.

The farm was founded in the 1920s by three Italian brothers of the Dell Osso family. Originally harvesting asparagus which later expanded to corn and pumpkins.

Ron and Susan Dell’Osso decided to incorporate the family-friendly Halloween event starting in 1997 and it has been a farm tradition ever since.

More than 150,000 people travel to the attraction from San Joaquin and local counties.

“There’s something pretty magical that happens around here,”said Yvonne Sampson, Dell Osso Farm marketing manager for the farm when speaking about the energy around the farm during the three holiday months it is are open.
The corn maze, which is a main attraction during Halloween season, is a full 23 acres this year, with three mazes within a maze topped with a pumpkin in the center.

“It is easy to get lost,” Sampson warns. “But there’s always someone nearby to help.”

Another attraction is the scarecrow contest which began six years ago. There are about 69-88 scarecrows every year entered in the contest. There is a fun tractor ride to take, where patrons even get to vote on the top three scarecrows.

New attractions to the farm this year are the Bucking Pumpkin, similar to a simulated bull you have to hang on for dear life until you fall off.

The 5,000-square-foot Haunted Castle is the farm’s newest and biggest edition. Also there is a Pumpkin Princess tea party for anyone who’s in the mood for tea and cookies.

Sampson recently helped the farm host Special Day on the Farm with Elaine Thompson, the head organizer of the event.

About 2,200 special needs adults, children and their caregivers came out for the occasion.

The Dell’Osso Express train ride which has wheelchair accessible cabs takes them on a trip around the farm.

Sampson, whose face lit up as she talked about the event, said one of the attendees “absolutely loved it.” The girl thanked Sampson for helping coordinate the day and said she looks forward to it every year.

Special Day on the Farm is one of the many events hosted by Dell’Osso Family Farm.

The farm raises funds for 20 non-profit and charitable organizations throughout their open months. There are volunteers who come out for different charities and organizations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to earn donations.

“It is truly family-fun for everyone,” said Yvonne.

The prices are affordable with attractions ranging from $1-5. Entry is free. There are also free attractions.

Dell’Osso Family Farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with gates closing at 8 p.m. Subject to crowds and weather attractions may begin closing as early as 9 p.m.