50,000 blooms: Hill Ridge Farms plans Pick Your Own Sunflower Days
Posted July 27, 2020 9:00 p.m. EDT
Youngsville, N.C. — In a regular year, Hill Ridge Farms would be busy with families and kids, sliding down its massive tube slide, splashing in the sprayground and checking out all the baby farm animals.
But the COVID-19 pandemic quashed all of those plans for the spring and summer 2020 season. The farm, a longtime favorite of families across the region, has yet to reopen.
"We have had a very tough year not being able to open," Jennifer Garry, Hill Ridge's events manager, tells me.
But there's some good news: The public is invited back to the farm for Pick Your Own Sunflower Days from July 30 to Aug. 14.
The farm has planted more than 10 varieties of sunflowers that will produce more than 50,000 blooms.
"You can't help but be happy seeing all of those sunflowers smiling at you as you stroll through the fields," the description says.
The farm will be following current COVID-19 guidelines, so the sprawling play area, country store, concessions and full service restrooms will not be open during this special event. The only area that will be accessible will be the sunflower fields.
If you go, here are the details:
When: July 30 to Aug. 14
Where: Hill Ridge Farms, 703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to noon and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can arrive anytime during those time blocks, but note that the field will be closed from noon until 4:30 p.m., daily. There will be no reservations.
Admission: $20 per vehicle. Cash only.
Sunflower picking: If you'd like to pick sunflowers, you'll need to bring your own clippers, bags and containers. The minimum price is $5 for a half dozen, $10 for a dozen and $5 for additional sunflowers purchased in increments of six.
Guests are asked to practice social distancing. Portable potties will be available, but you should bring your own hand sanitizer.
"Be aware you are coming to a very large public outdoor sunflower field," the event description says. "We have lots of space to spread out and will be keeping our staff to guest interactions at bare minimum for not only our safety but for yours."
Hill Ridge has had to make some big changes to make this event possible, including relocating the entire parking lot so guests don't walk through the play park. But Garry said she's excited to see people back on the farm. Of the sunflowers, she said: "They are amazing!"
Hill Ridge Farms' Facebook page has more information about the event.