CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — With jumbo pumpkins, caramel apples and blow up slides, Chubby’s Pumpkin Festival is a tradition over a decade strong in Chesapeake.
However, putting together this family fun has proven hard at times for Chubby’s owner, Chad Mapes.
“There is an extensive zoning administration you have to get through. There’s all kinds of permits to get through,” Mapes said.
Mapes says they outgrew their original location after 8 years, then went bigger at a location in Edinburgh beside the parking lot of Cinema Cafe.
But the costs that came along with their new conditional use permit ran them nearly $15,000.
He says assuming all those costs were enough to make him and his family look into moving Chubby’s to another city this year.
But that’s when Woody Warren gave him a call. His family farm, soon to be 100 years old, could be the perfect fit.
“We’ve seen the evolution what this family has done and worked together to build. It’s just impressive by any measure, so it was an easy call for us,” Warren said.
Mapes says this new location at the corner of Battlefield Boulevard and Peaceful Road is exactly what they needed, and allows them to more than double in size.
“We’ve got acres and acres of parking, which is wonderful. We’ve got acres and acres for hay rides and agricultural development, we’ve got 3 and a half acres spot for event space, which is great because we have a lot of rides,” smiled Mapes.
Now that they have a home for the foreseeable future, they won’t have to keep going through the city’s permit process, and can put the money into growing the business right here where it all started.
“We have a blank slate, we get to draw the map here, it’s wonderful to have this much space, sky’s the limit. We can do anything we want here and it’s so wonderful to be able to stretch out,” Mapes said.
Mapes says there’s one more city council meeting to vote on the conditional use permit, but he doesn’t foresee any issues.
They are scheduled to officially open on September 20, where they’ll be open 7 days a week until October 31.