For the previous Your Turn section, we asked our readers about their fall event calendars — the events they host in the autumn months to bring customers in, embrace the season and drive sales.

Many garden centers transform into full-blown fall destinations with pumpkin carving, hay rides, corn mazes and other attractions. At Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse, an annual fall open house welcomes customers with complimentary refreshments and has a noticeably positive impact on sales, says co-owner Judy Mitchell.

“We have a fall open house that varies from the last Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October that we send out 3,500 post cards to our customers [for],” Mitchell says. “We have a drawing for door prizes. Free drinks, hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and homemade cookies all day. Sales will double or triple over a usual Saturday. Sales also pick up the week before.”

Bremec Garden Center in Chesterland, Ohio, has hosted an annual fall festival for more than 15 years, according to marketing manager Eliza Newton. The festival includes face and pumpkin painting, live entertainment, inflatable childrens’ playsets and even a hot air balloon launch.

“One of the biggest attractions is our entertainment,” Newton says. “We have ... kind of a local celebrity called Jungle Terry. He brings exotic animals and does a show for the kids. We view it as our little gift to the community.”

Thanks to Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse and Bremec Garden Center for sharing their stories with us. We wish them luck with the rest of their fall season. Remember to check the Home Page section on page 6 for this month’s Your Turn prompt. We want to hear from you!

STEPHANIE ANTAL
Jungle Terry entertains the crowd with a turtle at Bremec’s fall festival. Snakes are a big hit with the kids, too.
STEPHANIE ANTAL
Kids enjoy the face and pumpkin painting at Bremec’s Garden Center.
STEPHANIE ANTAL
STEPHANIE ANTAL
STEPHANIE ANTAL
STEPHANIE ANTAL
STEPHANIE ANTAL
Guests wander Mitchell’s Nursery & Garden Center during the fall open house.
COURTESY OF MITCHELL’S NURSERY & GREENHOUSE
Mitchell’s Nursery & Garden Center offers hot dogs, chili and other snacks during its fall open house.
COURTESY OF MITCHELL’S NURSERY & GREENHOUSE
COURTESY OF MITCHELL’S NURSERY & GREENHOUSE