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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

Sunflowers are blooming

Red Barn Farm holds second annual

Sunflower and Fall Festival

Kristin Guglietti/THG Brooke (left), Hunter (middle) and Shea O’Brikis have fun on the jumbo bounce pad at Red Barn Farm’s second annual Sunflower and Fall Festival on Sept. 1.

The Red Barn Farm held a grand opening weekend for the second annual Sunflower and Fall Festival on Sept. 1. The festival will run from now until Nov. 12.

According to Fred Penza of Red Barn Farm, this is the first time the farm has grown sunflowers.

“First time growing sunflowers. We’ve done corn for a bunch, but sunflowers it’s our first time,” Penza said. “I don’t know if you’ve been out there, but they look pretty.”

The sunflowers are expected to last until the end of September and they might last going into October depending on the weather.

Last year’s festival featured a corn maze, hayrides and pick-your-own pumpkins during the day.

At nighttime, the farm also held bonfires and people walked through the corn maze with flashlights.

The corn maze this year features a Jersey Devil holding a Penza pie. Evelyn Penza, Fred’s mother, is known for her award winning pies.

“It’s the Jersey Devil, and I just came up with it,” Penza said. “It was like two different legends: the legend of the Jersey Devil and the legend of my mother, who’s 82, who’s known throughout the country for those pies.”

To create the 7-acre maze, the farmers plant and fertilize the corn, and after the corn reaches a certain height, a company from Utah burns off the corn with GPS.

“They use weed spray, and they just burn off the corn and everything else grows up. We come up with our design ahead of time and then they use the design and it just grows into the design,” Penza said.

The idea for the Fall Festival started when Penza and his brother, Vincenzo Penza, came together and said they should get into agritourism.

“My brother and I just came together and said we should get into agritourism,” Penza said.

“It’s a huge thing. We have the ground, land and equipment, and we just went ahead and did it.”

This year, Red Barn Farm wanted to add more activities for kids, including a jumbo bounce pad, duck race and tetherball.

“Everything here is new, but that bounce pad, that’s the number one. Everybody comes for that,” Penza said.

Roxanne Littleton said her grandkids are excited to bounce on the jumbo bounce pad.

“They love bouncing. They both do gymnastics and martial arts and things like that, so they’d be doing flips if they were allowed to,” Littleton said.

After the festival, Littleton is excited to get a pie at the Red Barn Café and Pie Shop before she leaves.

“Of course, those pies are killer. So we’ve been out here before and had the pies, so I’m very excited to know we could get one of those before we leave,” Littleton said.

Leah Beatty came to the festival with her mother, Dana Beatty, and her 10-month-old daughter, Paisley Watson.

“She’s a little too little to take on everything else, but we’re going to go get her some food and look at the chickens,” Leah Beatty said.

According to Penza, the food at the festival is even better this year.

“Got some really good food from Philly shipped in. Great brisket burgers, unbelievable chicken sandwiches,” Penza said.

He said he is looking forward to seeing people smile.

“I just want everybody to be happy. I want everybody to have a great time. Eat well and just enjoy,” Penza said.

This year’s Sunflower and Fall Festival hours are as follows: Wednesday through Friday: 3 p.m. – dark; Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – dark. Starting Sept. 29, the festival will be open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The $24 all-access pass includes a hayride to the sunflower patch, access to the corn maze, jumbo jumper and the fairgrounds.

Sunflower patch only tickets are $10, and it includes a hayride to the sunflower patch, one sunflower and access to the fairgrounds. Jumbo jumper access is not included.

Corn maze only tickets are $12, and it includes access to the corn maze and fairgrounds.

Jumbo jumper access is not included.

General admission is available at the gate and tickets are available at a discount online at

For more information about the Red Barn Farm, call (609) 517-2711, visit their website and follow them on Facebook. The Red Barn Farm is located at 391 Route 206 in Hammonton.

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