FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – This year will be the first year for the Hooley family to attend the Johnny Appleseed Festival. In years’ past, they’ve been busy running the pony rides at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. But, this year, their pony rides will be at Johnny Appleseed.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed serving the community of Fort Wayne for over 40 years. We are thrilled to be working with the Johnny Appleseed Festival to continue connecting kids with animals and strengthening families,” Cory Hooley said.

The Hooley family still runs pony rides at their farm as well.

The pony ride area at the Johnny Appleseed Festival

“We were very fortunate for them to approach us and ask if we have an opening and we did,” Becky Butler, Director of Administration and Food Chair for the festival Board of Directors, said. “I think every kid that comes through here will want to ride the ponies.”

The pony ride area at the Johnny Appleseed Festival

Pony rides will run the full festival hours on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 18. Rides are $8 each.

“If you come in where all the food is and see the Boy Scouts kettle corn and cider press, [the pony rides] are to the right of them,” Butler said. “If you’re old enough to remember when we used to have the llamas, that’s where they’re going to be.”