What you need to know: Circleville Pumpkin Show

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Why you should go:

This celebration of all things pumpkin is a spectacle to behold. Even if you've seen it before, the pumpkin contests and pumpkin-flavored foods never get old. The festivities span eight city blocks in downtown Circleville, just a 25-mile drive south of Columbus.

What's new: The pumpkin show is reconnecting with its roots - you know, the earth - by including environmentally friendly exhibits and amenities. Recycling containers will collect cans, plastic and glass bottles, and paper waste, and American Electric Power and the state of Ohio are bringing their Energy Savings Tour tent to the show. The tent will showcase ways to conserve and how to use smart-grid technology as part of a traveling, two-and-a-half-year tour through the state.

What to eat & drink:

Pumpkin: It's what's for dinner. And dessert. Try a pumpkin burger, pancake or pizza, and round out your meal with a pumpkin donut, pumpkin cream puff, pumpkin waffle, pumpkin ice cream or a pumpkin brownie. Vendors hawking these and other creations line the streets.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to try a slice of Lindsey's Bakery's 400-pound pumpkin pie. After being on display all week, the six-foot-wide pie is hogged by some hogs.


The show is sticking to its tried-and-true lineup of throwback entertainment. Pumpkin-themed contests are, obviously, the highlight.

The orangest of them all will take home the Prettiest Pumpkin Award, to be handed out Friday morning. Plus there's a pumpkin-pie-eating contest for those under 16 and a hog-calling contest for those 16 and up. Both happen Saturday after the Miss Pumpkin Show queen's parade.

Musical entertainment includes classic rock from Rewind, country from Jacked Up and barbershop quartet group Cadillac Jack, along with the chance to show Circleville what you've got during Saturday night's open-mic karaoke.

Engage your mind and your hands during ongoing arts and crafts demos, like a pine needle basket-making workshop and a corn husk doll-making class.

Don't miss:

The giant pumpkins. Last year's winner weighed a mind-boggling 1,375.5 pounds. This year's weigh-in started this morning, and the contestants will be on display all weekend. Look for the winning pumpkin to be wearing a crown.

Get some serious carving tips and techniques from Gus the Squash Carver during Saturday's giant pumpkin sculpting show, and pick up a scaled-down version to try out your skills at home.

What you need to know: Circleville Pumpkin Show

Where: Downtown Circleville

When: Through Saturday, Oct. 24

Hours: 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday

Cost: Free

Parking: Free on Circleville's city streets; varying rates at private lots

Web: pumpkinshow.com