It’s the Great Pumpkin Show, Charlie Brown!

by Kayleigh Kuhlman
Circleville2Every year the small town of Circleville, OH is invaded by crowds upwards of 300,000 over a four-day period to celebrate fall’s most notorious orange gourd, the pumpkin. This year the festival takes place from October 15 through October 18.

Started in 1903 by Circleville mayor George Haswell, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is in its 108th year. Haswell was looking for a way to unite the people of the city and country, and invited the country folk to present their best produce on the streets of the city for everyone to admire. The festival has grown into the sixth largest festival in the country, welcoming visitors from 34 states and 13 different countries, and receiving the aid of over 250 volunteers. Originally a single-day festival, the Pumpkin Show has been at its current span of four days since 1913, when it was expanded from three days.

The festival features a wide variety of entertainment, including parades, demonstrations, rides, and more. The first Pumpkin Show parade was in 1905, and today the festival holds a total of seven parades over the four days, including the Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin Parades, a Baby Parade, the Band and Youth Organization Parade, a Pet Parade, Lodges Civic and Fraternal Organizations Parade, and the Ohio Festival and Events Association Queen’s Parade. The Ohio State University Marching Band will be featured during the ThursdaCirclevilley evening parade, which begins at 8:00 p.m., and is scheduled to close the parade so that they may stop at designated areas along the parade route to entertain its vast number of fans.

In addition to the parades, the festival now has between 25 and 30 rides, ranging from kiddie rides to rides for adults——a great expansion from the original single merry-go-round that was erected in 1906. The Pumpkin Show also holds a variety of contests, including the Largest Pumpkin contest. The record for the largest pumpkin at the show was set in 2009, at 1,635.5lbs, which certainly beats the first largest pumpkin winner for the 1904 show, which weighed in at 88lbs. Awards for the largest pumpkin have changed over the span of the festival as well——the owner of that first 88lb winner received a pair of pants for his efforts. This year the winner will be awarded $1,000, enough to buy a whole wardrobe’s worth of pants. As well as the pumpkin contest, there are also the Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin contests, the Float Contest, and an Art Show.Circleville3e Largest Pumpkin contest. The record for the largest pumpkin at the show was set in 2009, at 1,635.5lbs, which certainly beats the first largest pumpkin winner for the 1904 show, which weighed in at 88lbs. Awards for the largest pumpkin have changed over the span of the festival as well——the owner of that first 88lb winner received a pair of pants for his efforts. This year the winner will be awarded $1,000, enough to buy a whole wardrobe’s worth of pants. As well as the pumpkin contest, there are also the Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin contests, the Float Contest, and an Art Show.

Like any good fair, The Pumpkin Show features a vast assortment of fair food——most of it pumpkin related. There is sure to be something for everyone’s palate, but thCirclevillePumpkinPiee most popular is the pumpkin pie, and it’s doubtful that anyone can top the giant pie that is baked every year by Lindsey’s Bakery. For the 100th anniversary of the festival the bakery managed a pie that was 14ft in diameter, and took 15 people to mix.

If you plan on staying for all of the festivities, the Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center offers full-service accommodations including rooms and cabins, an indoor pool and hot tub, a restaurant, and more. The lodge offers discounts during the festival as well. For more information about the Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center visit their website here. For a full schedule of events and opportunities at this year’s show please visit the here. For a full schedule of events and opportunities at this year’s show please visit the Circleville Pumpkin Festival website.

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