Fall Traditions Change Course Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Apple picking, carving pumpkins and hayrides are all a part of enjoying the fall.

But this year the seasonal classic will look a little different and in some cases canceled completely due to COVID-19.

Diane Karabin is the owner of Karabin Farms.

“What it usually looks like is pandemonium but in wake of the pandemic there's no pandemonium,” explained the owner, whose farm has been in her family for over 30 years.

Karabin said in a normal year groups come from all over the northeastern region to experience the activities on the farms but this year, “the family activities are just not the same. In conjunction with the CDC we cannot offer the wagon rides this year and that’s sad the children in particular look forward to it.”

“We are going to build a pumpkin patch. It’s going to be one way in one way out and doing that we can keep control of how many people are in at a time," she added.

Due to CDC guidelines concerning social distancing, the snack shack will be closed and the picnic benches removed. Karabin concluded the farm will survive but the reductions will hinder the bottom line.

“In the fall we bring in most of our income for the year but I don’t see that it’s going to happen this year," she said.

In Middlefield John Lyman, executive vice president of Lyman Orchards, has made some changes of his own.

“The biggest difference I think people saw right away is that we’re doing pay and pick,” said Lyman, “So people come and pay for their container before going into the field. Once they’re done picking they can leave and there’s no line or congestion.”

On a breezy Monday afternoon the orchard was packed with people who are trying to create a sense of normalcy in a difficult time.

“There needs to be some sort of positivity to this year,” said Chelsea Robinson, a mother who celebrates the fall season every year with her children at the orchard. “This year has just been terrible and (we’re here) just to give the kids something fun to do.

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