Pumpkin-related products from beer to baked-goods seemed to arrive a bit too early on the market for my tastes this year, and at first I mentally rebelled. Perhaps it was related to my hope (as it turned out, in vain) that a somewhat mild summer would hold for a bit longer. Alas, autumn came in and kicked summer to the curb, and after a short begrudging, my mindset shifted into that vibe. This meant I was more than ready to do my first ever wandering at the self-proclaimed "Greatest Free Show On Earth" - The Circleville Pumpkin Show.
Operating since 1903, The Circleville Pumpkin Show now stands as one of the world's largest pumpkin festivals in the United States, always being held starting on the third Wednesday of every October. The town population swells to approximately 8 times its normal size on each day of the festival, as approximately 100,000 people each day from all over the world visit during its four days of operation.
However, I did not read any of these factoids beforehand. As I had never been to a similar-styled event before (the San Francisco Bay Area has the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, but it was just a bit too far to drive from where I lived to give it a go), I preferred to go into this experience free of any expectations.
I reached Circleville on this cloudy day approximately thirty minutes after the announced start time of festivities that day, and immediately got a sense of the potential crowd. I noticed that some dirt spaces close to the highway off-ramps were starting to fill up with cars, and after a little hesitation, I went with my gut and grabbed a spot. It turned out to be a good move: on the walk back from downtown, the line of autos to get into the parking areas closest to the downtown area had slowed to a tepid trudge.
|Traffic wasn't too bad (yet) as I walked up Main Street into the Pumpkin Show|
|Of course I had to have some pumpkin donuts; these beauties were fresh from the oven|
of Circleville institution Lindsey's Bakery
|Of course, you can't forget about the giant gourds; this young lad gives one a good idea|
of just how large these pumpkins (first place weighed in at 1,964 lb) really were.
|These colorful beauties were of more manageable size and were on sale for anyone needing a gourd to take home.|
|Wittich's Confectionary, opened in 1840, bills itself as the nation's oldest family-owned candy shop|
I picked up some of their tasty pumpkin brittle to take home with me.
|Historical marker detailing the origin of Circleville's founding on an ancient Hopewell Indian-era earthwork|
|These quilts were just part of the numerous submissions for the various arts & crafts competitions|
|This fun mixed-media pumpkin used circular lids of all sorts to provide the color|
|Pies (what else?) in the foreground; children's art submissions on the wall behind|
|I like buying my food from the local organizations at these affairs; the Circleville Kiwanis' version|
of the Fried Boloney Sandwich was a perfect lunchtime meal
|A youngster looks at the cornhole supplies from the Flipin' vendor tent|
|You can't have a Pumpkin Show without a pumpkin pie eating contest|
|The crowds were still building up by the time I left to head back north|
The Circleville Pumpkin Show
Starting day: The third Wednesday of every October
(Next Show: Wednesday, Oct. 21st thru Saturday Oct. 24th, 2015)
Downtown Circleville, OH