Despite COVID, Ambler Farm Day rolls along in Wilton
WILTON — There will be a hay maze, scarecrows and apple slinging, just not the way people are used to seeing it on Ambler Farm Day.
The event that welcomes fall each year will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4, from noon to 4, but instead of thousands of people exploring the farm and all the events the day has to offer, this year it will be a car-centric event billed as “Cruise-thru Ambler Farm Day.”
Admission will be $100 per car, no matter how many people are inside, and everything is included. Tickets will be timed at 15-minute intervals and cars will enter through the soccer field entrance on Hurlbutt Street.
Among the events are Life is a “Hay” Way, scarecrow and craft kits, Dunk a Local, Pie in the Face Toss, apple slingshot, and take-home pumpkins, apple pies, and cookies.
The Hay Way, Ambler special events coordinator Laura Guzewicz said, will feature 30-foot hay walls six feet high that cars will drive through in one shot.
A popular event in normal years is the big pile of old clothes and straw that children and adults use to create their own scarecrow. This year, each car will receive a brown paper bag that can be used for the scarecrow’s head, filled with a shirt, a pair of pants, a miniature hay bale, and necessary rubber bands and clips to hold it all together.
At the apple slingshot station, cars will drive up to the slingshots, which will be adjusted for sedans and SUVs. Car occupants can roll down their windows and fling away — three apples per vehicle.
The pie-throwing event is also done from inside the car. Each vehicle will receive three shaving-cream pies to aim at one of the hapless apprentices behind a photo opp board.
Each car will also receive a pumpkin from the trailer of the tractor to decorate at home, an apple pie from Village Market — due to COVID no home-baked pies are allowed this year — and special Ambler Farm-themed treats from the Painted Cookie.
Through it all, fairgoers will be entertained by live music up at the red barn. There will also be an exhibition of donated artwork visitors may purchase online and then pick up on Ambler Farm Day.
The farm is allowing 14 cars per 15-minute slots so traffic does not back up on Hurlbutt Street. A complete list of events — including ticket purchase information — may be found at amblerfarm.org.
“We’ve had a lot of programming cut and this is a fundraiser to help us keep the farm going,” said Guzewicz, who added she expects modified programs will be added in the fall and winter.
She has been working on a social-distance-friendly version of the farm’s biggest event of the year since summer programs were canceled. She put it together with the help of past volunteer activity chairs and volunteer farm apprentices.
“We have tried to turn it into an event where the community can get out of the house, gather safely and support the farm,” she said.