MINNETRISTA — On a rainy Saturday, families traveled to Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista for Celebrate the Harvest to see sheep, llamas, giant pumpkins and more.

Celebrate the Harvest, held on Oct. 5, is an annual event at Three Rivers Park District’s Gale Woods Farm. The farm has had some sort of fall festival every year since it opened in 2003, Gale Woods Farm Supervisor Tim Reese said.

“It’s kind of an annual tradition for the community and people come back year to year,” Reese said. “It’s fun to see people come back to these annual events and connect to farming.”

The event featured sheep shearing, llamas and other working animals. Border collies and their handlers competed in the Star of the North Sheepherding Trail, in its 14th year at the event, according to Reese.

Attendees watched employees weigh pumpkins over 1,000 pounds in the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off. The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,547 pounds and was grown by local farmer Bill Foss. Reese said there were three heavier pumpkins, including a state record-breaking pumpkin, but all were disqualified due to blemishes or cracks.

Children of all ages and adults explored the farm on a wagon ride, watched cooking demos and made wool crafts.

Reese said last year the event had approximately 2,300 attendees. This year, they estimate around 1,000 people showed up due to the rain.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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