FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — Eleven years ago, Gordy and Karen Toupal started an apple orchard just outside of Fairmont.
A year after opening they wanted to draw in more people to buy apples, and quickly became a destination for fall family fun.
“The biggest draw is the entertainment everybody that comes here has a good time and they go back and they tell their friends and it just kind of builds on itself everybody around here is got a big smile on their face,” Gordy Toupal, owner of Center Creek Orchard, said.
Always opening for the season on Labor Day weekend, the orchard has gotten bigger and bigger every year. With this year boasting their biggest first day crowd. Which isn’t hard to see why when you visit, with something for everyone to enjoy.
“We have grandma’s sliding down the slide and we have grown ups on the bounce pads and they just have a great time," Toupal added. "There’s plenty to do even for the older people we have our hayrides to do and we have a haunted forest, the maze there’s plenty of things for everybody. We sell season passes and almost everybody that’s come in the door here this weekend will be buying a season pass because we see people come in maybe eight, nine, ten times a year. Sometimes even more than that.”
Meanwhile, their initial endeavor is still going strong.
“The orchard is pretty much full. We have about 500 trees and we specialize in Minnesota apples, so we do the Zestar and the Haralson and the Sweet 16, Honeycrisp and SweeTango," Toupal said. "And now we have that First Kiss, which is Minnesota’s new apple.”
Center Creek Orchard is open every weekend in September and October, including Thursday and Friday of MEA weekend.