Last Friday after work we took a quick jaunt down to the Circleville Pumpkin Show. It’s a big street festival in Circleville, Ohio the third week in October. It officially runs 4 days, Wednesday through Saturday, but there is a preview day on Tuesday and Sunday is clean up time. We didn’t grow up in Pickaway County Ohio, so our first trip happened after we moved in over 20 years ago. The kids loved the rides, and then when their artwork that they made in school was posted on the wall in the Art Exhibit, of course we went in and searched and found it. My daughter was in middle school, when she and some friends encouraged by the art teacher made a scarecrow man and entered it in the Home Arts show. Middle school was when they marched in the parade with the band and it continued through High School. We’ve photographed and videotaped the band, worked for the boosters when they had a booster trailer serving chicken and noodles and every year we find pumpkin things to eat. The kids are grown, and don’t come with us but I still have my favorite things.
- Pumpkin things – I will buy Lindsey’s Donuts if there isn’t line, but usually there is a line because they are fantastic donuts. There was a line today, so we skipped it but we did take a peek at the pie. I did have a pumpkin burger, pumpkin oat cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin butter.
- Non-Pumpkin things – like chicken and noodles to warm you up on a cold rainy night and thin spiral cut potato chips covered in cheese and bacon bits called “potato blossoms”.
- The Pumpkin Show Building – my favorite place to stop in. There are a lot of contests photo, art and food; you can browse through and see all of the winners. I’m trying to get my husband to enter his photos and one of these years I hope he will. Every year the framed photos are so great – pumpkin and non- pumpkin themed. When my kids were in elementary school, the class would enter an art project for each student. They were all the same, but made by the student – so they were all a little different. The kids would stand in front of their artwork while we took a photo. The pumpkin show building also has cake decorating, pumpkin pie contest, candy making contest,best jam and even contests for the best black walnuts. How can one know what the best black walnuts are? We looked at the plate and couldn’t tell one from another. Still it’s fun to see what the winners entries looked like.
- The Home Arts and Craft Building is our other favorite. There are sculptures, quilts, cross stitch, recycled material art, and needlework. This is also the demonstration building where the craft demonstrations are done.
- Every day/night there are parades – The biggest parade night is Thursday but there are plenty of them during the four day run. Ohio State University’s TBDBITL and Ohio University’s Marching 110 have both taken their turns. The four local high school bands (Circleville, Logan Elm, Teays Valley and Westfall) all march as well as other Ohio High School Bands. For years we parked down Watt’s street because that’s the road all of the busses line up for the marching bands and ours was there too. Memories.
- Every day/night there are shows. Some of the bands will play a program in the street or on a stage. McGuffey Lane was there as well as Kory Adams – a school mate of my kids. Rock, pop, broadway hits, symphonic strings, blue grass, jazz and the show doesn’t stop for anything. I remember the band playing in the pouring rain and watching the rain bouncing high off the kettle drums as they were hit. There’s something for everyone.
- More pumpkin stuff – but this time we’re not eating it. Pumpkin judging – The Giant Pumpkin weighing is a big tradition with the largest weighing 1315 lbs this year. There was a pumpkin carving demo, judging for the best looking pumpkin, and the queen contests. All of the contests and judging is to support the local economy so contestants must all live within a 21 mile radius of the town.
- Hog calling – yes it happens, there’s hog calling, a hot wheel race, the pet parade, cloggers, dance performance, egg toss competition (the finalists from each of the schools) and irish dancing. The schedule can be found online and in the circleville herald (local newspaper) plus there is a facebook page.
- The information booth always has people inside (during pumpkin show hours) handing out the schedule of events which also contains a list of all the pumpkin products and where to find them, plus the exhibit and parade map. There’s a webcam you can watch during the show if you want to see how packed it gets while the show is on.
- Next years show is October 13 – 16, 2013 – mark your calendar. Until then enjoy photos of this years show, and also enjoy pumpkin recipes.
*These photos belong to Diana & Mark Hayes.
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