QUEEN CREEK, AZ — One of the Valley's most popular spring events is ending after 22 years.
Mark and Carrie Schnepf, the owners of Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, have decided not to hold their annual peach festival. Instead, they're going to have the farm open on weekends for the entire six-week peach season, which begins in mid-April and ends in May.
"The festival has simply become too popular to handle the crowds of people that visit the farm on the single weekend," owner Mark Schnepf said in a statement to ABC15. "And it has become more and more difficult to have peaches ripe for one particular weekend when you depend on Mother Nature."
There will be no more pancake breakfast, tasting tents or live music. However, many of the festival's staples will still be around.
The bakery will make and sell its large peach-filled cinnamon rolls, peach cobbler and muffins. People will still be able to pick their own peaches from the farm's 5,000 peach trees, go to the petting zoo and the garden, and go on the rides, said Carrie Schnepf.
On Saturdays, they will have grilled peach pancakes for sale.
"By spreading out the crowd, we can ensure the public a more enjoyable experience when they come to pick some of the finest peaches in the country," the statement said.
The farm will be open Thursdays through Sundays.