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Hyde Park Village starts month-long pumpkin patch with fundraiser

The Hyde Park annual pumpkin patch is open until the end of October. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Both sides of the street are lined with food truck vendors offering selections from specialty crepes and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to barbecued meats, fair food, craft beer and more. A live folk band plays on stage across from the crowd of families taking pictures with the scarecrow on stilts in the pumpkin patch. 

Hyde Park Village — which is about 20 minutes from campus — held its annual fall festival to celebrate the arrival of fall and to benefit High Risk Hope on Friday, Sept. 29 which serves as a kickoff of its pumpkin patch that continues until the end of October. 

“I’ve been here before and I love it,” Alejandra Rodriguez, a junior majoring in mass communications, said. “Every year Hyde Park picks a nonprofit to benefit with the event, so I thought that was really interesting and awesome. It’s for them, the Tampa Bay community, but it’s also to give back as well.”

The pumpkin patch opens at 12 p.m. and closes at 8 p.m. during weekdays, and 9 a.m. and closes at 9 a.m. on weekends.

This year Hyde Park chose to benefit High Risk Hope, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide support, encouragement, information and resources to women and families that are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy resulting in hospital bed rest, potential premature birth and neonatal intensive care after delivery. 

“I’m actually a mom, that was personally touched by High Risk Hope and I volunteer for them. I was in hospital bed rest for 7 weeks, and then my son was in for 6. He’s three now, and doing great,” Karen Bersch, one of the High Risk Hope volunteers, said. “So now I can deliver these bed rest packets to moms in the hospital and share my story with them and hopefully give them a little hope and inspiration that things are going to be okay.”  

Bersch was one of the many High Risk Hope volunteers at the festival giving out information about the organization and its annual family-friendly 3K-charity event.

“The end goal is to get people to sign up for our Tot Trot, which is in November, and that’s our biggest fundraiser,” Bersch said.