COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) -- With Halloween just twelve days away, the only thing even cuter than little kids and pumpkins -- is annual free pumpkin day today at the iconic Venetucci Farm.
It's a half-century Colorado Springs tradition. They're free, with just one rule: The child must be able to pick it up themselves. For a five-year-old, that's a heavy load.
"I have the largest smile on my face because it's heartwarming and I just love the kids having this experience and having this exposure of being out in the community," said Maryalice Gabrielson, an elementary school teacher at Stratmoor Hills Elementary School.
Kids not only got to pick out their own pumpkin but spent the day also learning about the process of what a plant needs to grow, thanks to the Pikes Peak Real Estate Foundation's partnership with Catamount Institute, a non-profit dedicated to educating and connecting kids with the outdoors.
Beth Austin with Catamount Institute believes teaching the kids about plants during this experience is important.
" We provide a super fun and engaging experience for the kids to learn about what a plant needs, so we are not only understanding about pumpkins but also understanding what a plant needs," said Austin.
It's a tradition that has been around for more than 50 years, when Nick and Bambi Venetucci opened the fields to thousands of children to give away free pumpkins.
In 2006, the Pikes Peak Real Estate Foundation inherited the farm to preserve the property’s legacy and ensure the land is protected forever, and the pumpkin giveaway continues for generations.
"You've got three generations coming out to the farm all who have been here to pick pumpkin, so it is really special we get story after story of families having come out here as a child and they share their pictures," said Nikki Mccomsey, owner of Gather Mountain Blooms.
The best part is seeing the kids pick up their own pumpkin big or small.
This year more than 2,000 free pumpkins will be given to kindergarteners throughout the Pikes Peak region. For more on their events click here.