The final farmers market of the year brought some much-needed fall fun to families in Angels Camp, with hay bale photo opportunities, tasty Autumn treats and an array of homegrown pumpkins drawing a crowd for the first time this season.

Lucas Wiebe, local farmer and husband of event organizer Sarah Wiebe, said that the Sept. 25 event was the busiest of the year. The farmers market shut down in July due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the county and reopened at Utica Park in the first week of August. However, poor air quality and hot weather kept many visitors away until the final event – a blissfully temperate day in early fall.

“People want to get out,” Lucas Wiebe said. “I’ll say it’s the highlight of my week.”

Homeschool co-op The School House took the opportunity to raise funds for their organization with a farmstand, in lieu of an annual harvest festival fundraiser. The group had a successful day selling pumpkins, eggs and baked goods, provided by its seven participating families.

“Being involved in the community is essential for wellbeing,” said co-op member Anna Schar, whose six children helped out selling goods. “I’m glad that we’re able to have our fall festivities, because we basically lost a year.”

Shopper Jeff Millar, who attended the event with his wife, LeAnn, said they came out to enjoy the clean air through masks, despite their concerns about the pandemic.

“We could probably go another two weeks, with the weather getting nice,” Millar said, lamenting the end of the market season. “It’s just good for the kids to have some kind of normal, because it’s not going to be normal for a long time.”

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