The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm’s Stone Wall Pumpkin Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 8.

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm’s Stone Wall Pumpkin Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 8.

Photo provided by the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

Museum’s pumpkin festival, scarecrows to help spice up fall

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 21, 2022


ROCHESTER HILLS — As the weather cools, there is plenty to do at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm to celebrate the harvest season.

For 22 years, the museum has been bringing families together for its Stone Wall Pumpkin Festival, to be held this year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8.

The event, which is held rain or shine, is open to the public and costs $5 for museum members and $10 for nonmembers. Children under 2 attend for free.

Museum Manager Patrick McKay said the event started after a staff brainstorming session looking for a creative, unique way to celebrate the community’s agricultural roots.

“As a history museum we certainly like to talk about our agricultural past,” he said. “We’re not a farming community anymore, we’re a suburban community, but we want to harken back to those days where everybody was a farmer bringing this harvest in. So that was important to us, but we were also looking for a community event where the whole family could come together.”

Over the years, he said, the signature event has become a tradition for many.

“The community who attends the event is actually making the event happen, which is really the fun part. It’s all about audience participation,” McKay said.

From pumpkin bowling, musical entertainment, an art craft, food, and creative pumpkin carving, families have been participating in the event for decades.

“We encourage guests to come early so they can squeeze in all the activities during the day,” said Cathy Fitzpatrick, museum program coordinator.

After the activities end, carved pumpkins will be placed on the farm’s historic stone walls in the evening and will be lit with candles for a one-night display from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The museum, which is hoping to exceed its record of 1,011 pumpkins lit at one time, encourages evening patrons to give a financial donation to support the Rochester Area Neighborhood House.

The day after the event, guests can take their pumpkins home.

The museum’s “Scarecrows in the City” outdoor exhibit — which includes scarecrows made by local businesses and organizations — will be revealed during the event and moved downtown, where they will be on display along Main Street.

Proceeds from the festival go toward the museum’s operating costs and programming.

For more information and a complete schedule of Stone Wall Pumpkin Festival activities, visit or call (248) 656-4663.