Thomas Hicks Nursery is enjoying its new, visible location on Highway 98. And passersby are enjoying the festive view provided by the pumpkin patch, complete with a haystack scarecrow.

"This is our third year doing the pumpkin patch," said manager Kathy Slay.

The patch is regularly restocked with pumpkins hailing from Chipley.

Scouring a local patch for the perfect pumpkin is a fun event for families. Walking through the patch earlier last week was Hazel Rae McCormack, with her dad Jody. He patiently waits for the toddler to pick her favorite pumpkin.

"We always visit here for pumpkins," Jody said.

Paying at the counter, Slay immediately recognizes Jody and asks about the rest of the family.

"All of my customers mean a lot to me," she said.

That is the difference between visiting a local pumpkin patch versus a cardboard bin at a mass retailer.

"It's fun for the kids to load them on the wagon," Slay said. "We're planning to have events and activities for kids to participate in soon."

Supporting local businesses such as Thomas Hicks Nursery is like supporting your community. A couple weeks ago, the nursery donated pumpkins for a local church to use for decorations. In it's 30 years of serving Northwest Florida, the nursery has regularly donated goods to local organizations.

The nursery also offers plenty of other items to style your house for the holidays such as small, mixed gourds, corn stocks and Indian corn, and wheat straw perfect for hay rides.

Thomas Hicks Nursery is located at 5061 U.S. 98 W in Santa Rosa Beach, right across from 98 Bar-B-Que. For more information, call 267-0202.