BOSTON (CBS) — When the pumpkin patch is nearly empty, the toddler play area is untouched, and only one young customer is getting a tractor ride, it puts a damper on business at Connors Farm in Danvers.
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“This is the boom of the season, the heart that keeps them going through the winter,” said Rachel Scoggins, a farm employee.
A damp, chilly stretch of weather is keeping away the crowds that usually fill the parking lot in a six-week window to pick apples and enjoy a farm full of fall activities, including a massive corn maze where it would be easy to get lost on a Saturday.
“It’s not the same atmosphere as it could have been, but we’re still making the best of it,” said customer Renae Meserve.READ MORE: Young Crowd Eager To Attend Harry Styles Concert In Boston, But Are There COVID Concerns?
While apple picking is still the big attraction, a few pickers had the orchards to themselves. Farms like Connors have expanded into what’s called “agritainment” to increase their business, but everything depends on the weather.
“There’s a short window of time for farmers to make money for the whole season,” said farm employee Benjamin Seoecky.
At the Topsfield Fair, they have 11 days and two weekends to draw in the crowds, but on Saturday there were empty seats on many fair rides and no lines for attractions. For some regulars, it was a bonus despite the chill.
“We come every single year and are used to the crowds, but it’s a nice treat not to have to stand in line,” said Corey McGovern, visiting the fair with his family.MORE NEWS: Concord-Carlisle High School Teacher Accused Of Using Racist Slur Put On Leave
Fair spokesman Dave Thomson said weather is always a factor, “but the good thing is these couple of bad weather days are behind us.” They’re hoping soggy days will turn to sunshine to bring the crowds back in.