There’s no better place for a pumpkin enthusiast than the Circleville Pumpkin Show.
Home to some of the largest pumpkins in the state, Circleville is hosting its 116th annual Pumpkin Show. The festival attracts over 400,000 people through the four-day celebration.
The pumpkin festival originated in 1903 when the mayor of Circleville, George Haswell, decided he needed a means to get people involved in the town and enjoy themselves. Hence, he set up the first pumpkin show, a display that included pumpkins, cornstalks and various fruits and vegetables grown locally.
If You Go:
What: Circleville Pumpkin Show
When: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.
Where: 159 E. Franklin St., Circleville, OH
Today, the pumpkin show has a various number of activities one can attend throughout the week. One of its most popular events being the Giant Pumpkin Weigh In. Every year, contestants work hard growing their pumpkins for six months and then transport their pumpkins on trailers or pick-up trucks to be weighed.
“We use forklifts to lift them out of the back and then a company has a scale they give to us each year that allows us to weigh these very heavy pumpkins,” Nanisa Osborn, trustee of public relations of the Circleville Pumpkin Show, said. “Oh man, it is quite interesting to see it happen.”
The show also will have a various amount of parades throughout the week. Each one of the parades has a different theme. Starting Wednesday, both the Little Miss Pumpkin Parade and the Miss Pumpkin Parade will take place, following judging. Thursday will be the Baby Parade and the parade of bands and youth organizations, which will feature 23 high school bands from around the area.
Friday will hold the Pet Parade, which features everybody bringing their favorite pet to march in the parade, and the Parade of Lodges, Civil and Fraternal Organizations. The final parade on Saturday will be the Ohio Festival and Events Association Queens Parade.
“We like to watch the Wednesday night parade where they judge the Queens,” Erin Thaxton, a sophomore studying long-term health care administration, said. “We love the food too. The pumpkin donuts from Lindsey’s are the best.”
Every year the Pumpkin Festival also tries to bring new events to the table. This year the pumpkin show will feature The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial & The Spirit of America's Story — The Wall.
The Lima Company Memorial is a memorial for Marines from Lima who lost their lives serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Spirit of America’s story was a wall created specifically to recognize the military, police and fire departments who have served over the years ranging from the Revolutionary War to the present.
“I think we try each year to have something unique to share with everybody if we can,” Osborn said. “We try to make sure we’re a contributing member of this community.”
No matter where, a place full of pumpkins, games and fall fun is a great way to celebrate autumn.
“I love pumpkin festivals,” Emmy Smith, a freshman studying nursing, said. “I think it’s fun to see all the fall activities and stuff that aren’t around outside of the time period that they occur in, like the trees, leaves and pumpkins.”