[KHTS] – After nearly 40 years, Lombardi Ranch will not be open for the 2015 Halloween Pumpkin Festival, officials confirmed Thursday.
“It looks like we are not opening,” said Adria Lombardi Faulconer, who runs the ranch with her nephew, Levi Lombardi. “We have not planted anything because we don’t have water to plant anything.”
Lombardi Ranch, which began their annual festival in 1989, is famous in the Santa Clarita Valley for its festivities, corn, pumpkins, train, scarecrow contest and corn maze.
“I had to give (the corn) up,” Lombardi said about the corn and other produce, in a previous story in 2014. “It burned and died out because I was trying to save pumpkins.”
Lombardi Ranch lost about 95 percent of their corn to the drought and lack of water from the Bouquet Canyon Reservoir in 2014, Lombardi said. “There’s no telling what I lost with pumpkins.”
“We can’t even plant the sunflowers or the corn maze or anything,” Faulconer, adding that the produce would be able to be grown if water from the Bouquet Canyon Reservoir was released or if it rained in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The main water source for many of the properties in Bouquet Canyon is the Bouquet Canyon Reservoir.
After flooding 2005, silt built up in the creek making it level with the road and creating a flood hazard when it rains or water is released into the creek, according to Supervisor Michael Antonovich during a February meeting.
County officials have installed two sets of gates along Bouquet Canyon, which are closed when water is let out of the reservoir to fill up the resident’s wells, but this isn’t enough for the Lombardi Ranch farm.
In April, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee passed Assembly Bill 353, which, if approved, would OK county officials to clean the silt out of the creek.
“It’s really hard (for us) to put it out there that we are closing,” Faulconer said. “Hopefully, we are not closing for good.”
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