“We’re still trying to find one,” said little Lucia Padron, 7, as she quickly searched the stacks of pumpkins early on opening day at the Pumpkin Patch of Central Presbyterian Church.
The annual event in Kendall brings out hundreds of volunteers to help unload more than 8,000 pumpkins in three deliveries.
“It has to be really round so you can carve it, and it has to have a stem,” Lucia said. “I want to make a really scary jack-o’-lantern.”
Lucia, her 6-year-old brother and dad, both named Ruben, were on a quest taken by many this time of year: Halloween is coming, and the pumpkin must be perfect.
It’s also that time of year to visit community craft fairs and bazaars all over Miami-Dade County. Many have been held for years, like the 20th Holiday Bazaar at Miami Country Day School, and the famous Silver Palm Christmas Bazaar with its homemade Redland jellies.
Almost all of the once-a-year gatherings raise money for special causes.
This is the first year for the Holiday Boutique at the Coral Gables Woman’s Club.
“We’re so excited to show off our clubhouse and the Children’s Dental Clinic, which we have supported for over 40 years,” organizer Susan Tilson said.
At the huge Miami Shores Green Day event, Northeast Second Avenue will be transformed into “a field of family fun, food, live music, shopping, craft and garden vendors, and a celebration of all things green and good for the environment,” co-chair David Traupman said.
“Miami Shores Green Day brings together all of the things that area residents like best: a kid- and pet-friendly environment, live music, food trucks, beer and wine, a chance to stroll the avenue without cars, and to see neighbors and friends. The street fair’s ‘green’ theme also resonates with our community,” Green Day co-chair Kim Krause said.
At the annual Christmas Bazaar at Our Lady of Lourdes, there will be more than 40 vendors selling jewelry from Italy, handmade tiles, candles, and tablecloths with holiday embellishments. All proceeds go to the Council of Catholic Women at Our Lady of Lourdes, said Magda Villa, president of the group.
“With the funds raised, we help our church community and we also help on a global basis, like Little Dresses for Africa,” she said. “We make dresses from pillowcases and then send them to Africa and other countries in need.”
Local artist Carlos Pereira will sell his one-of-a-kind creations at the Holiday Bazaar at Temple Beth Or. There also will be handmade soaps and candy, organic lotions and makeup, and terrariums with succulents.
Children, especially, love the magic of pumpkin patches and the fun fairs.
There’s even an owl-hooting contest and best bird costume contest at Coconut Grove’s The Barnacle Historic State Park on Sunday, Oct. 18.
“It is the second year we are offering this program, and we’re really looking forward to celebrating all things owl with park visitors of all ages. Last year, there were some adorable costumes, and this year we’ll be giving prizes for the best bird costume and owl call. This should be a lot of fun,” said Jessica Cabral at The Barnacle.
Volunteers of all ages get into the season.
Alec Vizoso, 13, is a seventh-grader at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. He said this was the second year he’s unloaded pumpkins at Central Presbyterian’s patch.
“My birthday is this month. I like pumpkins and being in this. It’s great spirit,” he said.
Jaelynn Vizcaino, 19, graduated from Southwest High School and this was her fifth year unloading pumpkins. She got her sister, Jessenia Vizcaino, 16, to join, too.
“It’s been a tradition since my freshman year,” Jessenia said.
“We love seeing people happy,” Jaelynn said.
Maria Ginard, chair of the pumpkin patch committee at Central Presbyterian, said “the volunteers were here waiting at 8:30 on a Saturday morning” when she arrived.
“And it took only an hour and a half to unload 2,150 pumpkins,” said Alyce Weglarz of the church. All proceeds go back into helping the community, she said.
Besides good pumpkins, delicious food definitely makes a fair.
Many events bring in food trucks, and others depend on the oven and grill skills of volunteers.
There will be homemade cinnamon buns and other baked goods, along with Frito pies and barbecue chicken with fixings, for sale at the Country Craft Fair and BBQ at Cornerstone United Methodist Church.
On Halloween, volunteers will be grilling up sandwiches at the family-fun Community Fall Flea Market at South Miami Lutheran Church.
There will be a spaghetti dinner as part of the Palm Springs United Methodist Church Craft Fair. Along with the homemade baked goods, collectibles and crafts, visitors can get a meal of spaghetti, salad bar, garlic bread, a beverage, and dessert at $9 for adults, $4 for children, and free for kids under 2.
Music, too, will be in the air.
The Redland Band and performances by students of Mays Conservatory for the Arts will be at Cornerstone United Methodist Church.
And reggae concerts are scheduled during the Caribe Arts Fest in Little Haiti.
The group No Maddz, renowned for its eclectic fusion of reggae, dub and poetry, will take center stage at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.
At Green Day in Miami Shores, the Roots of Rhythm live music stage will feature the popular Latin jazz and blues band Oriente, rock and blues from Bonefish Johnny, and pop from Miami Country Day School’s 21 Hearts, 1 Beat band.
Co-chair Krause said the street fair’s green theme resonates with the Miami Shores community.
“Miami Shores and its neighboring communities have among the highest levels of recycling participation, Florida-friendly landscaping, and a true commitment to green issues in South Florida,” Krause said. “Our neighbors take this stuff seriously, and it is great to see everyone out celebrating it!”
Patricia Giner, organizer of the Atlantis Academy Holiday Bazaar, gives back by being involved with the event, and wants to help everyone become aware of the school for students with special needs.
“I am also a big believer in reciprocity,” she said. “I wanted to offer artists and vendors an opportunity to share their special talents and wares with members of our local community.”
It is the season of food, sounds, celebration, and helping each other.
And a lot of pumpkins.
Norma Berry, of the Parish Life Committee at Central Presbyterian Church, has been volunteering at the patch for five years.
“It’s just a good cause,” she said.
Christina Mayo: firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ Through Oct. 31: The 18th annual Pumpkin Patch at Miami Lakes United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 14800 NW 67th Ave., Miami Lakes. Take photos at this pumpkin patch. Free, but donations are welcome. Visit for the unloading of thousands of pumpkins from New Mexico about 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, and Oct. 23. Arrival time varies. Students can help unload for service hours. Call 305-821-7274 or email email@example.com. The Craft Show is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Fall Festival, from noon to 6 p.m., on Oct. 24. Crafters, a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables and a maze are the highlights. More at www.miamilakesumc.net.
▪ Through Oct. 31: Pumpkin Patch at Central Presbyterian Church, noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends, 12455 SW 104th St., Miami. Visitors can choose from more than 8,000 pumpkins of all sizes. Prices are 25 cents for mini pumpkins to $35 for really big pumpkins. Bring the kids to an unloading of the truck at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and Oct. 24. Students can help unload to get community service hours. Proceeds go toward Habitat for Humanity, weekly deliveries of lunches to Camillus House, food boxes delivered to people in need during the holidays, the House of Hope in Haiti, and mission work assisting the elderly in Appalachia. More at www.cpcmiami.org.
▪ Oct. 17-31: Pumpkin Patch at St. John’s on the Lake United Methodist Church, noon to 7 p.m., 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach. Visit for pumpkin picking and photo opportunities. New this year is the Harvest Festival, Oct. 23-25 with music, face painting, pumpkin decorating, bounce houses, a rock-climbing wall, and food for sale. The pumpkins come from farms in New Mexico that better the lives of Native Americans through job training, rewarding work, and help with clinics and mental health services. Proceeds also go toward local groups including Branches, the Miami Beach High School Marching Band, and SAVE. Event schedule at www.harvestfestivalmiami.org.
▪ Oct. 18: Owl-o-ween at The Barnacle Historic State Park, noon to 4 p.m., 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Learn about owls and celebrate our feathered friends with crafts, games and story time. Prizes for the best bird costume and owl call. Event is included with $2 park entry fee. Free admission for kids ages 5 and under. More at www.floridastateparks.org/park/The-Barnacle
▪ Oct. 23-25: Caribe Arts Fest, Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Varying times are 6 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami. In its third year, this multi-genre art festival celebrates the arts of the Caribbean and the Americas. Featured are a Caribbean Culinary Corner, DJs, reggae concerts, multimedia art and film, and a kids’ art zone. One-day admission is $10, and a weekend pass is $20. Children under 12 are admitted free. Visit www.CaribeArtsFest.com for schedule of nightly concerts.
▪ Oct. 24: Green Day Miami Shores Street Fair, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., Northeast Second Avenue from 94th to 99th streets. This huge street happening includes family fun, food, live music, shopping, craft and garden vendors, and a celebration of all things green. There will be food trucks, local restaurants, craft breweries, a dining cafe, pet rest stops, a farmers’ market, gardening education, kids’ zone with quiet rides that are green-operated by kid power, an artisan village with fine arts, custom-crafted jewelry, beauty products and clothing, and a pop-up bookstore for trading and buying used books. Free admission. More at www.miamishores.com/greenday.
▪ Oct. 31: Community Fall Flea Market at South Miami Lutheran Church, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 7l90 SW 72nd St. About 50 vendors will sell jewelry, ceramics, baby clothes, tools, and other treasures and crafts. Grilled sandwiches and home-baked goods will be available. This Halloween-themed family event, without the scary witches and ghosts, also will include a new and used book sale.
▪ Nov. 7: Fall Arts & Crafts Festival at Country Walk, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 14601 Country Walk Dr., Miami. Enjoy music, food trucks and crafts. Home décor, sweet treats, handmade jewelry and one-of-a-kind items perfect for holiday gift giving will be for sale. Vendor applications at www.countrywalkhoa.org. Farmers market vendors wanted. Admission is free.
▪ Nov. 10: Twentieth annual Holiday Bazaar at Miami Country Day School, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the school gym at 601 NE 107th St., Miami. Join the Parents’ Association for this one-stop shopping experience. Browse for jewelry, women’s clothing, home accessories and kitchenware, stationery, sports memorabilia, kids’ clothing and personalized items. Food court is open throughout the day. All proceeds benefit the students and teachers.
▪ Nov. 11: Bulldogs Holiday Bazaar at Riviera Schools Preparatory Campus, 9775 SW 87th Ave., Miami. Music, food trucks and prizes will highlight this bazaar and the first 50 shoppers will receive a special goody bag. 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is $2 in advance, $5 at the door. Proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of Veterans Day. Advance tickets at http://hrld.us/1k80SAW.
▪ Nov. 13-14: Craft Fair and spaghetti dinner at Palm Springs United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 5700 W. 12th Ave., Hialeah. Check out craft supplies, lots of fabric, crafts, paintings, Christmas decorations, old and new books, antiques, pictures, collectibles, homemade baked goods, plants and fashion jewelry. The spaghetti dinner is 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and includes spaghetti, salad bar, garlic bread, drinks, and dessert bar. Dinner prices are adults $9, children $4, and free for kids under 2.
▪ Nov. 14: Women’s Craft Fair at Killian Pines United Methodist Church, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 10755 SW 112th St., Miami. Give treasured homemade items as holiday gifts. This fair has embroidery and cross-stitch artwork, pottery, jewelry, soaps, items for babies, and Christmas crafts. Snacks will be for sale. Vendors can reserve a space for $25. Call 305-595-2878 for more.
▪ Nov. 14: Fall Bazaar at Fulford United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1900 NE 164th St., North Miami Beach. Shoppers will find home-baked goods, handmade gifts and holiday decor, plants, a country store, massages, kids’ corner, “trash and treasures,” and lunch for purchase. Proceeds benefit local and worldwide mission outreach projects.
▪ Nov. 14: Silver Palm Christmas Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 15855 SW 248th St., Homestead. Homemade Redland jellies; Redland-grown fruits, vegetables and plants, baked goods, handmade crafts and items from Aunt Lydia’s Closet will be featured. This annual bazaar will also have used books, bric-a-brac, and its famous scoop lunch.
▪ Nov. 14: Country Craft Fair and BBQ at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 20740 Old Cutler Rd., Cutler Bay. This fair will have free rides for children, a DJ, the Redland Band, and performances by students of Mays Conservatory for the Arts. For sale will be homemade cinnamon buns, hot dogs, Frito pies, ice cream, chips, candy, baked goods, sodas and water. The dinner includes one-quarter chicken, baked beans, corn-on-the-cob, and a beverage for $6. Call 305-233-7457 to register to be a vendor before Nov. 7.
▪ Nov. 14: Craft Fair and Bake Sale at Kendall Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 8485 SW 112th St., Miami. This big annual fair boasts handmade crafts, candles, plants, gifts, food and clothing. Vendors are still welcome to join the fun. The application is at www.kendallpres.org. Spaces are $30 and $35.
▪ Nov. 15: Holiday Bazaar at Temple Beth Or, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 11715 SW 87th Ave., Miami. This is a perfect time to do holiday shopping. This bazaar will have jewelry, ceramics, clothing, candles, cards, handmade soaps, handmade candy, organic lotions and makeup, and terrariums with succulents. Local artist Carlos Pereira will sell some of his one-of-a-kind creations. The Chosen will have a booth to sell Hanukkah needs. Interested vendors can call 305-253-4155.
▪ Dec. 3: Holiday Boutique by the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, noon to 8 p.m., 1001 E. Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables. You will find one-stop shopping, unique gifts, and yummy treats at this boutique that benefits the Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic. Admission is $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Interested vendors can call 305-720-5181 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ Dec. 5: Holiday Bazaar at Atlantis Academy Miami, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 9600 SW 107th Ave., Miami. There will be seasonal arts and crafts by local artists, music and crafts for children, and vendors selling plants, homemade foods and desserts. Proceeds benefit the school’s students with special learning needs.
▪ Dec. 5-6: Annual Christmas Bazaar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 11291 SW 142nd Ave., Miami. Shoppers will find more than 45 vendors selling candles, handmade tiles, and hand-sewn tablecloths embellished with sequins. There will be jewelry from Italy, handmade bracelets and necklaces, arts and crafts, candles, holiday gifts, and baked goods and desserts. Raffle prizes include a $300 prepaid Visa card. All proceeds go to the Council of Catholic Women at Our Lady of Lourdes to help the church community and its cause, Little Dresses for Africa. The members make dresses from pillowcases and send them to needy women.