By Rachael Krause | WAVE 3 News
Nearly 700,000 people visited Huber’s Orchard and Winery last year. It’s one of the busiest tourist attractions in the state and for many, a quick car ride away.
People from all over the country come to Starlight this time of year. For many, it’s a family tradition.
“Should I get this one?” asked Olivia Thomas, holding out a pumpkin to siblings Emily and Jackson.
In the acres of pumpkins at Huber’s Orchard, the perfect pumpkin is waiting.
Olivia, Jackson and Emily are here from Louisville; the family all has the day off from school for fall break. The kids pick their ideal gourds carefully, as they have strict standards.
“Perfect,” Olivia explained. “Not too heavy. Not too small. Perfect.”
The kids have picked through this patch before.
“First or second time,” Jackson and Emily said.
“Fourth,” Olivia said, rolling her eyes at her older siblings.
Their mother, Katie Thomas, said they come every year to pick out pumpkins and enjoy the activities at Huber’s. She brings her family now in the same way she came with her parents years ago.
“They used to bring my brother and I up here,” Thomas said. “And it’s just kind of continued, so we appreciate it.”
“And it’s a generational thing that makes us so happy to see those families over and over again, year after year,” said Lisa Kruer, marketing director for Huber’s Orchard and Winery.
This is the busy season for Huber’s. The next three weeks will bring thousands of people to the farm. Visitors travel from all over the country to pick their way through the popular winery and orchard.
“Last year, we were the No. 1 tourist destination in Indiana,” Kruer said. “Over 600,000, almost 700,000 visitors last year and we’re looking to top that this year.”
If you think a Friday is busy, come back on a weekend. On a Saturday, Kruer said they see 10,000 people come in when the weather is nice.
“Now, we did try the vignole the last time we were here and we liked it,” said Lisa Jackson. She was visiting with Ron Denson and Wayne Hurm from Owensboro, Kentucky. The trio tasted their way through the wine list inside Huber’s loft on the warm Friday afternoon. Visiting Huber’s is their tradition.
“We usually come for every season and in between,” Jackson said.
“It makes the day worth working for,” said Christian Huber. A seventh-generation Huber, Christian said working sunup to sundown and helping to harvest the crops during the busy season don’t bother him.
“It’s a family business and we’re a farming family at heart,” he said. “So no matter what, seven days a week, I love it.”
For his family and the ones that fill the farm here, this is tradition.