Chester’s Pumpkin Patch


Kage Tudor

As guests enter the farm, they are greeted with a photo op. The photo op is a great opportunity to create memories with the whole family

Chester’s Party Barn and Farm ran a seasonal pumpkin patch that started on the last week of September and ran through Halloween. The pumpkin patch offered many activities to guests, such as a petting zoo, pony rides and a hay maze. The owner, Robin Holker (Chester), had quite a career before deciding to open the farm. He was Chester the Clown, doing shows at local locations, and that spiraled into his career as Ronald Mcdonald.

“They saw me perform as Chester, and McDonald’s asked me to be Ronald’s backup, and I told them I wasn’t interested,” Holker said. “Then when they got rid of the other Ronald, they came to ask me to be Ronald full-time, and that is how I became the Field Ronald.”
Being the field Ronald meant that Holker would go to community events, such as hospital visits, grand openings of Mcdonald’s locations and parades and festivals. His career as Ronald began in 1992 and ended in 1997.
“At the time, Ronald McDonald was the second most recognizable character, behind Mickey Mouse, so when you stepped into a crowd there would be instantaneous ‘oohs and ahs’ from children, and they were just ecstatic about it,” Holker said.
After his career as Ronald McDonald came to a close, Holker started doing events as Chester on location.
“I was already doing events out of my house when I lived in Yukon, and I could do everything for an organization, like birthdays or company picnics, I could already bring a pony ride, a petting zoo, inflatables, or other talents by simply calling those people up, and I was just brokering the deal for them,” Holker said.
The business was inflating to the point where Holker realized that if he obtained his location, it would make the events easier to manage.
“I just needed a location, I needed a place to do it. I would have to do it at the owner of the company’s home or in their warehouse or in their parking lot, or we’d had to find a park someplace that we had to lease out in order to do the picnic or whatever it was that we were planning. I knew if I could find a location that I could streamline everything, and then bring it all together and make it more affordable.”
The farm opened in June of 2001. The company says at least 20,000 people visited the farm this season. The whole idea of the farm was to make memories, wether that be for kids or adults. Jasie Dinkel is the manager and event coordinator of the farm.
“We are in the memory making business, so our goal whether you’re having a birthday party here, or a wedding, or whatever kind of event you’re looking to host we want to have a family friendly environment where we can create positive memories for kids that have never seen a goat in real life or people that want to celebrate the best days of their life and get married here. So we try to create memories in a family fun and safe environment,” Dinkel said.
One of the biggest attractions was the animals and the petting zoo. They had goats, horses, ponies, llamas, peacocks, chickens, a cow, a miniature african zeebo and more.
“I went to the petting zoo and took some pictures that were really funny. My favorite animals were the goats,” Jonnie Sabarese, Freshman at Yukon High School said.
One of the more prized animals was Pumpkin, the horse.
“Pumpkin was the world’s smallest living horse. She was born here at our farm on October 5, 2021, and at the time was the second smallest living horse,” Holker said. “When she was born, her mom was rescued from a situation in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, and brought to my farm and we nursed the mom back to better health. And in she delivered Pumpkin during our pumpkin patch for 2021. The smallest horse at that time was a 14 years old, and it has since passed away, so now we have the smallest living horse in the world here in Piedmont.”
The pumpkin patch is not the only thing Chester’s offers. They could also host birthday parties, company picnics, cowboy camps, family reunions, weddings and more. “Some events require not as much work as others.” Dinkel said. “I take down all your contact information and we require a deposit. And so I take that payment and then I get you scheduled so birthday parties are really easy weddings, we kind of go into more we have a lot of in person meetings as far as establishing what the themes are, what our roles are, who our vendors are going to be as far as DJs and caterers and all that kind of stuff and what’s going to come through our company what they’re going to get third party. So we have a lot of in person meetings about all of that. And then slowly we get a contract together, get the deposits together, get everything signed and sealed.”
Chester’s was a place to have fun and let loose, no matter what the reason for attending.
“My favorite part was getting lost in the hay maze with my mom and her friend. It was nice getting to spend some extra time with her in the maze because she lives in New York,” Sabarese said.

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  • Jose (red jacket) yells into a megaphone to announce the canons firing. Chance pulls the lever and the pumpkin goes flying while the crowd watches in awe.

  • As the sun sets on the farm, guests pick their pumpkins before they leave the farm. Due to the pumpkins coming with admission, it is a staple to come home with one in hand.

  • Guests wander through the maze to get to the end and have fun at the park. The park at the end has slides, a small paintball arena, and a snow cone truck.

  • A child feeds the goats in the petting zoo after purchasing some zoo food. The other animals available to feed include a llama, a cow, some rabbits and more.

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