After 30 years, the farm announced on its website that its pumpkin patch is permanently closed.
We know. We're crying, too.
Over the years, the festival has grown to include horse-drawn wagon rides, zip lines, a petting zoo and more.
The farm itself, with its 320 growable acres, is not closing, says owner Clint Buckelew. The farm will continue to host the haunted cornfield experience Terror in the Corn and the Zombie Mud Run. They will also still sell Christmas trees later in the year.
"Times have changed," Buckelew says. "My parents decided to retire. The pumpkin festival is a full-time operation for two people, and my mom and dad have done it for 30 years."
He and his wife, Laura Buckelew, manage Terror in the Corn, the Zombie Mud Run and the holiday Christmas tree tents — another full-time job for two people.
"I didn't feel like I had time to carry on both of them," he says. He estimates that the festival drew around 30,000 people each year.
During Terror in the Corn on Friday and Saturday nights in October (and on Halloween), the farm will also have activities for families, including a corn maze with 4 miles of trail, a sunflower patch, zombie paint ball, a beer garden, live music, a bonfire and a place to purchase pre-picked pumpkins. The farm did grow some pumpkins this year — for its wholesale business and possibly to sell in lots around town — but the pumpkin-picking party is no more.
Buckelew says they'll likely use the pumpkin patch land for more traditional farming, growing crops such as corn or cotton.
Buckelew Farm at 17000 W. Ajo Highway has been in the family since the 1950s, when Clint Buckelew's grandfather purchased the property. The farm is in Three Points, about a 30-minute drive from Tucson. Buckelew says his parents, Nick and Laurie Buckelew, have planned to retire since last year's festival.
"Nick and Laurie have retired after 30 years of helping to make family memories and traditions in the Tucson community," the farm website says. "Thank you to all our loyal customers who have supported us throughout these past three decades."
Visit tucsonterrorinthecorn.com for more information about the corn events.