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Pumpkin Patch, Artfest Come to McLean

Annual fall events are on the way.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church will host their annual pumpkin patch to raise money for nonprofits starting Oct. 5.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church will host their annual pumpkin patch to raise money for nonprofits starting Oct. 5. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

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Volunteers unload pumpkins at St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s annual pumpkin patch. This year’s will begin Saturday, Oct. 5.

Few things are as synonymous with fall as the pumpkin, which adorns porches, sidewalks and stoops throughout the season. This year, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in McLean will have thousands of pumpkins for sale, starting Saturday, Oct. 5.

The pumpkins are brought in from a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. The church shares the profits from sold pumpkins with the Navajos, and the remaining ones are donated to an animal refuge site to be used as feed.

Toby Bush, one of the organizers of the events for St. Thomas, said that the money the church takes in from the sales go to their outreach ministries, which includes Share of McLean, the Samaritan Ministry of Washington, D.C. and the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, among others.

Last year, the fifth year of the sale, the church brought in a full truckload of pumpkins, and Bush said they plan to bring in another full load this year. Years past have featured a three-fourths load.

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From left, Kathy Brady, a former McLean Project for the Arts student, and her former teacher Julie Lansaw both painters, at last year’s MPAartfest. This year’s will take place Sunday, Oct. 6.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church is located at 8991 Brook Road.

McLean Central Park will host one of the fall’s signature events, the annual McLean Project for the Arts Artfest. This year’s event is the seventh Artfest, and will feature 49 artists in a variety of mediums, selected by a jury.

“One of the fabulous things about MPAartfest is there is always something new: new artists along with returning favorite artists, new performing artists along with returning favorite musicians and a new art project for all ages at Innovation Station,” said Dabney Cortina of the MPA. “The MPA Beret Wine Café will be back for the second year. But truly new this year will be the MPA ArtReach tent, which will highlight MPA’s highly regarded and unique art outreach program. We are also giving away an MPA tumbler to all those who become a member of MPA on the day of MPAartfest.”

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The Children’s Art Walk is a signature part of the annual MPAartfest, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 6.

This year’s musical groups include, Ukulele Phil and the Hula Kids, The Indigo Project, Madeleine Chalk, The Exceptions, Alexa Noelle Topetzes, and Daniel Wrigley.

Scott Ramminger and the Crawstickers will headline.

Food from Greenberry’s, J. Gilbert’s Lebanese Taverna, Mama’s Donut Bites, Naked Pizza and Nourish Market will be for sale.

The MPAartfest will take place Sunday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.mpaart.org/