The original ‘clown farmer,’ Robin ‘Chester’ Hockers grows a bumper crop of memories

Great State

PIEDMONT, Okla. (KFOR) – A couple of days ahead of another in a long line of parties, Robin ‘Chester’ Hocker couldn’t resist a little entertaining in the middle of his big pumpkin patch.

“Watch this closely,” he tells a group of small children, “This is a magic pumpkin because that’s all I have here is magic pumpkins.”

He tried to grow them once, but that kind of farming never worked for him.

“I could just never grow enough pumpkins,” he smiles.

This year he just trucked in about 30,000 to send home with families he hoped wouldn’t forget him next harvest time.

“I’m better at partying than growing pumpkins,” he laughs.

20 years ago, this was a long-abandoned farm, and Chester was a clown with an idea.

He bought the place and started agri-tourism before it even had that name.

“That’s exactly right,” laughs Chester again. “I feel old sometimes.”

The original ‘party barn’ is called the Chesterfield Wedding Venue now.

He says, “All the wood siding is from repurposed pallets.”

The new Chester’s Party Barn is much bigger.

He put in a candy shop, a trail ride around the lake, a hay bale maze, a menagerie of very tame livestock, and opened his gate for regular visitors.

500,000 of them later and he’s still working on entertaining.

His pumpkin cannon fires regular salutes.

He buys some of the state’s biggest pumpkins every year and, this year, the smallest ‘pumpkin’ was a nice bonus.

The Hockers adopted a miniature horse that gave birth to an even smaller colt in early October.

The foal was 15 inches high at birth, one inch short of a world record.

Chester’s wife Gloria and his own kids might have wondered about moving way out here two decades before, but Chester’s unique way of growing things proved sound.

“I like to do things a little opposite sometimes,” he admits.

The farm is still here, full of life and laughter too.

“We’re really in the memory making business.”

Chester’s Pumpkin Patch is open Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. , Sunday 1-6 p.m. from late September through the first of November.

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