The Ultimate Guide to The Circleville Pumpkin Show (Updated for 2019!)

Renowned in the country and even the world, Circleville really knows how to put on a show. Check out the agenda for 2019 and learn more about “The Greatest Free Show on Earth.”

stacks of pumpkins at the circleville pumpkin show
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It's finally October, and if you're the kind of person who looks forward to crisp weather and falling leaves, we have great news for you! The Circleville Pumpkin Show is just a few short weeks away. The famous celebration kicks off on the third Thursday of October every year and the festivities draw to a close on Saturday, giving attendees 4 days to take in all of the pumpkin-inspired events, activities, and fun.

Want to join in, but not sure where to begin? Don't worry -- this is the ultimate visitor's guide to The Circleville Pumpkin Show. We'll cover everything you need to know about 2019's Circleville Pumpkin Show, including:

  • A brief history of The Circleville Pumpkin Show
  • What to expect when you visit
  • 2019's major events and activities
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History of The Circleville Pumpkin Show

The Best Way to Celebrate Fall in Circleville, OH for Over a Century

Celebrating #SpookySzn with Pumpkin Spice Lattes (and Pumpkin Spice everything else!) may be a relatively new tradition, but The Circleville Pumpkin Show certainly is now. The annual four-day festival has been held every October for more than a century. What started off as a humble gathering of friends and neighbor has turned into "The Greatest Free Show on Earth," and is absolutely bursting with entertainment, fun, and of course, pumpkins!

The first Circleville Pumpkin Show was held in 1903, when the mayor of Circleville decided to create an event that would bring together the country residents and the city residents of Columbus and its surrounding suburbs. 116 years later, the event continues to grow larger and more popular every year.

Check out what's on the agenda for 2019, and if you like what you see, you can definitely do more than just plan a visit.

man's arms serving pumpkin french fries at festival
Even if you aren’t a fan of pumpkin foods, there’s plenty of other festival favorites to choose from!

Food, Drinks, and Pumpkins Galore

It's not a festival without food, right?

The Pumpkin Show does things a little differently than other festivals. While the streets are lined with vendors, the majority of them sell nothing but pumpkin-flavored or inspired foods. Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin chili, you name it! If you can put pumpkin in it—and even if you can’t, someone is bound to have found a way!—you can find it at the Pumpkin Show.

a crowd a lindsey's bakery admiring he giant pumpkin pie produced for the annual circleville pumpkin show
Don't miss Lindsey's Bakery and their famous giant pumpkin pie! Image courtesy of Lindsey's Bakery Facebook Page.

Can't Miss Attraction: The Original World's Largest Pumpkin Pie by Lindsey's Bakery

Do you looooooove pumpkin pie? So do the folks at Lindsey's Bakery in Circleville, OH! Every year they contribute a super sized pumpkin pie to The Circleville Pumpkin Show. It's just like grandma used to make, but much, much bigger! Their recipe includes 100 lbs of cooked pumpkin, 40 lbs of sugar, 26 gallons of milk, and 15 dozen eggs. The resulting pie is  6 feet in diameter and weighs a whopping 400 pounds.

You can catch a glimpse of the massive pie at Lindsey's Bakery on 127 West Main Street. There you can also sample the bakery's other tasty pumpkin treats, like pumpkin donuts and cookies. The big pie itself is donated to area hogs at the end of the pumpkin show festivities.

a crane lifts a giant pumpkin for the weigh-in at the circleville pumpkin show
People from all over bring their pumpkins to put them to the test. Image courtesy of The Circleville Pumpkin Show.

The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In

The crown jewel!

Every year, visitors come from all over to see or participate in the largest attraction of the show: The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In! Beginning the first day of the festival, farmers and amateur growers alike bring in their largest pumpkin of the season to pit it against competitors. The prize? A shiny trophy and a check for $1,000! Cecil Weston brought in a whopping 1,701-pound pumpkin to claim 2017’s first-place prize. He was followed closely by Bella Liggett’s 1,562-pound pumpkin, and Mark Hoffhines came in third with his 1,155.5 pound pumpkin. If you thought more than 1,700 pounds was big, 2014 saw a nearly 2,000-pound pumpkin!

If you want to catch the weigh-in, make sure you're at Court & Main Street at 9:15 AM on Wednesday, 10/16.

miss pumpkin and little miss pumpkin winners enjoy a pumpkin treat
The 2018 Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin pageant winners pose with pumpkin-y treats. Image courtesy of The Circleville Pumpkin Show.

The Miss Pumpkin Show & Little Miss Pumpkin Show

Every great event needs a Queen!

This isn’t about the most beautiful and charismatic pumpkins, believe it or not. The events are actually mini-pageants for women and girls who are vying for the title of Miss Pumpkin Show. Carly Miller was crowned Queen in 2017, and her first and second attendants were Brittany Lott and Elizabeth Sahr, respectively. For the Little Miss Pumpkin Show, Mya Jade Picklesimer earned the title and crown while Tinley Maxson and Lydia Kathryn Marcum were her first and second attendants, respectively.

participants walk two dogs dressed as pumpkins at the circleville pumpkin show pet parade
The Pumpkin Show Pet Parade invites the furry, fuzzy, and scaly members of your family to participate in the fun. Image courtesy of The Circleville Pumpkin Show.

Parades, parades, parades

Do you like parades? Because there are tons of 'em!

From the first day of the festival to the last, there will always be a parade to catch. The Circleville Pumpkin Show is holding 7 this year. Here are the parades you can expect to see in 2019:

  • Wednesday 10/16 @ 3:30pm - Little Miss Pumpkin Show Parade
  • Wednesday 10/16 @ 8pm - Miss Pumpkin Show Parade
  • Thursday 10/17 @ 3:30pm - Baby Parade
  • Thursday 10/17 @ 8pm - Bands & Youth Organizations Parade
  • Friday 10/18 @ 3:30pm - Pet Parade
  • Friday 10/18 @ 8pm - Lodges, Civil, & Fraternal Organizations Parade
  • Saturday 10/19 @ 3:30pm - Ohio Festival & Events Association Queens Parade

Musical Performances

Country, blues, rock; what more could you want?

Just as food is a staple for a great festival, so is music. The Pumpkin Show boasts a full line-up of great performances, including DJs and bands throughout the weekend. The festival has some faith and gospel performances if that’s more your speed, and high school bands make their appearances too. There’s no shortage of great musical content, and there’s always a concert going on somewhere at the festival, so follow the sound of the music to your next favorite band.

Rock out or sing along to your favorites!

If all of this wasn’t enough to get you excited to attend the next Pumpkin Show, there’s also comedy shows, pumpkin pie eating contests, gourd art, and more. If you love pumpkins (or festivals in general), food, fun, and great family memories, make sure you're ready for next year's!

But wait! There's more!

Santa's Roundtown Christmas Parade

If you’re ready for the end of pumpkins and autumn, break out your candy canes and ugly sweaters, because Santa’s coming to Circleville for the annual Santa’s Roundtown Christmas Parade. The Circleville DBA will be rolling out the details soon, so keep an eye on more holiday festivities coming to Circleville, Ohio!

Hero image and images throughout the article by Jack Mader and courtesy of The Circleville, OH Pumpkin Show Website.

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October 1, 2019
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