Pumpkin: The glass sculptures are for sale this weekend. Courtesy photo

The Mini Fall Festival returns to Virginia Avenue Park on Saturday and will highlight art from Santa Monica College students along with numerous children’s activities.

“The Fall Festival is always a fun occasion to celebrate the changing season and literacy through seasonal activities for Santa Monica children and youth,” Carla Fantozzi, Principal Supervisor at Virginia Avenue Park. “Like in years past, the event takes place during the Pico Farmers Market with a special Story Time program presented by Santa Monica Public Librarians. Please come on by to reconnect with your neighbors and get a pumpkin!”

Due to the ongoing pandemic the event will be missing its traditional interactive events, but there still will be numerous activities available. There will be a glass-blown pumpkin sale, craft workshop for children of all ages, and the Santa Monica Public Library will host two storytelling sessions.

The Pico Farmers Market will also be at the park with prepared foods for purchase. A free pumpkin giveaway will be held for the first 100 families as well.

Organizers made it clear the event has cleared all health and safety protocols, meaning all staff and presenters will be masked. Food that is purchased from the Pico’s farmers market is encouraged to be eaten on the tables in the park, which allows for social distancing.

SMC art students will hold their annual glass-blown pumpkin sale, which organizers said is something the entire community looks forward to. The prices of the glass-blown items range from $10-$100 with the majority of the proceeds going to the students.

The rest of the proceeds will be donated to SMC’s art department and the park’s library. Due to the majority of SMC students still learning online, the glass-blowing class is not active this fall. However, there is expected to be hundreds of pieces for sale and at least 15 SMC art students present.

“This year, due to COVID we have not had our glass-blowing class, but there is still a good supply of glass,” Terrie Bromberg, an SMC art professor said. “They’re all unique pieces, most of the work is done at Santa Monica College’s glassblowing studio on the main campus and it’s a very exciting class. So we’re hoping to run it again, this coming spring semester. But because of COVID everything’s a little bit up in the air still.”

Although the glass-blown pumpkins are the star of the festival, there will be art in different forms as well.

“In addition to pumpkins there might be some fall items,” Bromberg said. “They’ll be fused glass plates or bowls and some vases. We’re trying to add jewelry. We’ll have a little more variety this year. So it’s good for, not just Halloween and fall, but if people are shopping for gift items for later in the year.”

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Virginia Ave. Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue. For more information, visit smgov.net/vap or call 310-458-8688.