In a sea of orange, there will be one patch in Pensacola where the pumpkins are purple, yellow, blue, green and every color in between.
First City Art Center’s 16th annual Glass and Ceramic Pumpkin Patch takes place Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Blue Wahoos Stadium in downtown Pensacola. The annual event is free to the public and offers attendees around 7,000 hand-blown glass and hand-thrown clay pumpkins to purchase.
Glassblower Kellie Sylvester is going into her second year at the pumpkin patch with First City Art Center and was amazed last year at the number of people who came in to see the hand-crafted works of art.
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"It's crazy to see the droves of people," Sylvester said.
"You see families with their kids come and feel the pumpkins, and it's crazy because it's all handmade so you know each of those went through an artist's hands. It's great to be in a community that comes around it, supports it and (will) be excited for it. It's amazing and I'm excited for this year."
Each pumpkin is created by a local artist and member of FCAC’s glass and pottery guilds. Unique handmade pumpkins come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Prices for pumpkins begin at $20.
"There are a lot of pieces that are not representative of a traditional pumpkin, so people can really push the envelope of creativity within that medium and within that genre of pumpkins," said Ben Twingley, director of ceramics at the First City Art Center. "So, from the ceramic standpoint, it's just really fun to see the variety and everybody's unique perspective on making a pumpkin."
The annual Pumpkin Patch supports FCAC as a nonprofit center for the visual arts, offering affordable art education and outreach programs. The event supports over 40 local artists.
Artist Tim Nolan has been a part of the pumpkin patch since the beginning. He said it has attracted people not only to buy pumpkins, but to join classes and learn about ceramics and glass blowing.
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"We believe art is important, especially important to some people because some people need to 'make,'" Nolan said. "So, the artists we have now, they need to make, and there's people out in the community that are just looking for something and we come across them all the time. (They say) 'I can't believe this is available here in the community.'"
The one-of-a-kind pieces are guaranteed to be “picked” quickly though, so FCAC urges visitors to get there early.
General admission from 1-4 p.m. is free, but "First Pick" tickets are still available for early entry at 10 a.m. for FCAC members ($30 plus taxes and fees) and 11 a.m. entry for non-members ($40 plus taxes and fees). Tickets can be purchased through the Blue Wahoos Box Office.
Manna Food Pantries will be at the pumpkin patch accepting non-perishable donations to support the community, and guests are encouraged to bring a donation.
Blue Wahoos concessions and bar will be open during the event. The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority water truck will be present to provide free water to guests. No carts, strollers or wagons will be allowed on the field where the pumpkins will be displayed for sale. No outside food or drink, and no dogs not allowed.
For more information visit firstcityart.org.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: First City Art Center hosts handcrafted pumpkin patch in Pensacola