Over the 10-year history of Pumpkin Daze, every year, we can count something as a “first.” Easily, this year’s memorable “first” was the visit by Ana Belaval and her “Around Town” film crew from WGN TV. Or…perhaps it was the on and off snow showers with blustery winds on Saturday, Oct. 20. Either one, memorable!
WGN’s Around Town crew arrived early (6:45 a.m.) on Thursday, Oct. 11, as Abbey Farms was to be featured live in various segments during the WGN-TV Morning News. The day was bright and sunny, but like many this fall, blustery winds and chilly temperatures had us all bolting for the cozy warmth of Father Bede’s barn between segments. Besides the fresh-brewed steaming coffee, the Abbey Farms’ famous apple cider donuts were a hit with the film crew. We sent donuts home with all of them. Hmm, I wonder whether they shared with the rest of the office…
Schedules are meant to be broken – correct?
It was entertaining to witness the WGN team in action. Around Town’s reporter, Ana Belaval, is witty, humorous and quick to react during the live segments. For instance, during one segment with human hamster balls rolling around in the background, the hand-held microphone didn’t work. Cue Ana speaking directly into the camera’s mike – talk about a close-up! Although a ‘schedule’ was given, times quickly went by the wayside when a guest segment at the station went long. You could tell the crew were used to this, everything was adjusted accordingly, including the switching around of which Abbey Farms’ attractions were featured.
One of our own challenges was to get people to Abbey Farms to ‘play’ early in the morning. We normally open at 10 a.m. and even the first school groups don’t show up until 9 a.m. This wasn’t early enough for the opening segment scheduled for 7:55 a.m. So, we appealed to our social media followers, offering free admission if they showed up early. Happily, hardy souls and their children bundled up, showed up and had a lot of fun. If they recorded the program, some may have spotted themselves as they watched it later. At 9 a.m., several school groups showed up, so the park was bustling.
Thank you, WGN’s Around Town!
Prior to her wrap up segment, Ana tried her hand at shooting the corn cannon – giving it a thumbs up. You can view it and a couple other segments online at wgntv.com. We hope you enjoy them!
WGN-TV, we sincerely thank you for sending the “Around Town” team to Abbey Farms. We hope you made your own memories at our Pumpkin Daze park and enjoyed the experience as much as we enjoyed hosting you. By the way…we know of a great place to hunt for a Christmas tree, too. Perhaps a repeat visit is in order!
Christmas at Abbey Farms is coming quickly, read about Christmas tree shopping and more via this link.
Tags: WGN Morning News, Around Town, Live TV, Television, Farm Fresh News, Pumpkin Daze, Pumpkin Patch, Aurora, Illinois, Corn Cannon, Apple Cider Donuts, Fall Fun, Family Fun