There is no doubt that a 6ft. wide, 400lb. pumpkin pie can make quite an impression. I was just 2 years old the first time I remember seeing the world’s largest pumpkin pie (record defeated in 2010) in Lindsey’s bakery at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. My two brothers and I (as seen in this 1974 photograph) couldn’t get enough of the pumpkin food, amusement rides, parades and pumpkin patches that cover eight city blocks along Main Street in Circleville. Every outing ended the same: all of us fast asleep in the car on the ride home, each holding a pumpkin in our laps.
That early memory of Ohio’s oldest and largest festival has resulted in nearly 40 years of a special annual tradition for my family. I can hardly wait for this year’s show, October 17-20, to sample everything from pumpkin burgers and sloppy joes to pumpkin cream puffs and waffles. This free show is one of the best fall entertainment bargains for your family.
One of the most famous events of the Circleville Pumpkin Show is the great pumpkin weigh-in. Last year’s winning pumpkin, grown by Dr. Bob Liggett, weighed in at a whopping 1,436.5 pounds!!! If you want to go home with your own pumpkin, not to worry, there are thousands of pumpkins, gourds and squash available to hand select your own.
I advise going hungry to the show and wearing walking shoes. Beyond the 23,000 pumpkin pies and the 100,000 pumpkin donuts that sell over the four-day period, there are more than 300 food, game and craft vendors and you will likely want to see them all.
If you want to rest, bring a chair or blanket and enjoy one of seven parades that will take place at 3:30 p.m. (except Saturday) and 8:00 p.m. each day of the show. There are many family events throughout the show including bands, stage acts, pie eating contests, the Miss Pumpkin Show, Little Miss Pumpkin Show and Baby contests. So, plan on spending a full day!
When the calendar turns to October, and the crisp air of fall arrives, my excitement builds for another visit to the place where family memories were created so long ago. Just a short drive south of Columbus, I hope your family will begin a new tradition this year at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.