Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 | 6:35 p.m.
At the corner of American Pacific Drive and Stephanie Street in Henderson, Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch is supplying the sights, sounds and smells of fall for seasonally starved residents.
The fair set up shop last week and on Friday evening, families were milling through its maze of pumpkins -- hundreds of potential jack-o’-lantern's for sale -- to find some outdoor entertainment and take in the cooler temperatures.
Kids took flight bungee jumping on a trampoline, rode a pony or got up close to some farm animals. Laughter followed from inflatable bouncy houses and slides masked as jack-o’-lanterns, and kids swirled around on a spinning swing set.
Funnel cakes, corn dogs and cotton candy were being prepared outside the fence, adding to the country fair atmosphere, and Little Richard's "Tooty Fruity" blared from speakers overhead.
All the rides cost a few tickets, purchased at the door, available for 85 cents each or in packs of 20 or more at a discount. Simple admission is free from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
Ruth Haymes brought out her grandchildren, ages 9 and 11, on Friday evening. She moved to Las Vegas from Buffalo, N.Y., so she said events like the pumpkin patch allow her and others to remember that it is autumn, even if the leaves aren't changing as they might be elsewhere.
"It is totally different," Haymes said, describing October in the valley compared to her hometown. The pumpkin patch "gets you in the mood for the holidays."
Stu Miller's Christmas Trees sets up pumpkin patches throughout southern Nevada and California. Other valley locations are: the corner of Flaming Road and Grand Canyon Drive; the intersection of Centennial Center Drive and U.S. 95; the corner of Eastern Avenue and Horizon Ridge Parkway; and the corner of Rainbow Boulevard and Warm Springs Road.
All are scheduled to be opened through Halloween.