Valley Center, CA
January 29, 2023
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Mostly cloudy

Fire Safety Expo, Saturday kicks off a busy month at Bates

The famous Bates Nut Farm pumpkin patch, one of the most well-known tourist spots in North County.

The busiest month of the year at Bates Nut Farm, October, will kick off Saturday with the Fire Safety Expo. The exciting celebration and informational presentation of all things firefighting will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Come meet the Valley Center firefighters! The Fire Safety Expo will feature safety demonstrations and emergency information from a variety of local firefighters, California Highway Patrol, medical professionals and more. Check out the vintage fire engines, fire trucks, and learn how you and your family can be better prepared for emergencies and to learn more about your local emergency responders.

Saturday’s Fire Safety Expo will bring many first responder agencies together in one place.

Fire Safety Month
The Roadrunner spoke to Valley Center Fire Marshal Jim Davidson, who said that fire departments all over the country observe Fire Safety Month in October.
Why? “It’s been a national observance since 1922,” said Davidson. “It’s related to the Great Chicago Fire that happened in 1871. Fire departments throughout the nation observe it and have open houses and events to try and raise the awareness of fire prevention.
In myth and story, the Chicago Fire—which burned down half the city— was caused when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a kerosene lamp. Except, that may not have been how it happened.
“When I took a fire investigation class, they had a teacher who said there was a re-investigation of the fire decades later and the cow was exonerated,” said the fire marshal.
Davidson talked about some the pleasures to be had at the Fire Expo. “We will have handouts. San Diego Gas & Electric Co will have handouts. Other vendors will have handouts on smoke detectors and defensible space.
There will also be a bouncy house for the kids.
One of the County’s general-purpose helicopters, a Bell 205, will be on display. It will land in a nearby field and people will be able to talk to the crew and check out the helicopter. The helicopter is used for rescues and to drop water on fires. “They can also carry a crew of firefighters that they can bring to a fire,” said Davidson.
He added, “I personally think the coolest thing is having them come and meet the men and women who are in the front lines of their fire protection. Actually, coming and meeting these young men and women and shaking their hands and looking them in the eye is the coolest part. This is what it’s all about, it’s the people whose lives you are sworn to protect and so it’s good in both directions.”
Toward that end, the event will also have some of the young Valley Center Fire Explorers and some students from Palomar College’s fire program. “We will have some very young bright faces,” said Davidson.
There is an $8 parking fee on October weekends.
Pumpkin Patch Is Open!
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Over 50 plus years of fall traditions and memories have been created at the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch. Family and friends enjoy the tractor hayrides, and straw maze.
Petting Corral and Snow’s Pony Rides every day in October.
Grab a wheelbarrow and pick from variety of pumpkins: Big Macs, Ghost, Cinderella, Jack O’ Lantern, minis, squash, gourds and other fall décor. Check our calendar for details and schedule. Dogs on a leash are welcome at the farm.
Pumpkins, squash, gourds, all shapes and sizes.
Visit Bates’s website for details on this event.

Pumpkin Festival Craft Fair
Saturday & Sunday October 1 & 2
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admire and shop for beautiful jewelry, woodworking, candles, toys and many other unique items. Bates’s Pumpkin Patch will be open so you can enjoy the fall decorations, tractor hayrides, straw maze, Snows Pony Rides, petting corral, and delicious food from a variety of vendors.

Scarecrow Contest
Join in the fun by designing and building a scarecrow to exhibit in the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch. Keep the lost art of scarecrow making alive! Your scarecrow will be on display in the Pumpkin Patch thru October 31.
Bates is inviting Individuals, groups and clubs are to enter the contest. Each entry will receive a free jack-o-lantern pumpkin and certificate of participation. All winning scarecrows become the property of Bates Nut Farm and will be added to their famous scarecrow collection.
Bring your scarecrow and completed registration form to the pumpkin patch from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, October 7 or before 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 8. Cash prizes and gift certificates will be awarded to the top entries in each category.
All the Pumpkin Patch festivities will continue throughout the weekend including the tractor hayrides, straw maze, pony rides, and food.

One of the hundreds of scarecrows that have been entered in Bates Scarecrow contest over the decades.

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