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Pumpkin Show FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Pumpkin Show.

When was the first Circleville Pumpkin Show held?


Who started it?

George Haswell, Mayor of Circleville at that time, was also Superintendent of the Water Works & had an office on West Main Street. He decided that it would be a great idea to try to get the country folks and city folks together so he invited the country folks to bring the best of their produce to town on the designated dates & display them on the streets of Circleville so that the city folks would be able to appreciate their efforts.

How many days was the first pumpkin show held?


Did they have parades at that time?

As near as we are able to ascertain there was no parade the first year.

What year was the first parade(s) held?

About 1905

Did they have rides at the first show?

The first ride was the merry-go-round at its present location of Court & Franklin in 1906.

What kind of entertainment was held at the early shows?

Horse show, horse racing on East Main St., wire acts, displays of baked goods and produce.

Did the show ever have free acts?

Yes, for many years there were high wire acts, high diving acts, flag pole sitters, tumblers, fire eaters, etc.

How about attractions charging paid admissions?

There were wrestling shows, wild creatures, girlie shows, freaks and curiosities, magic acts, etc.

Was the Circleville Pumpkin Show always held on the streets of downtown Circleville?

Yes, the early shows covered about 3 city blocks and today covers more than 9 city blocks.

Where were the displays of pumpkins and gourds?

First on the east side of South Court between Franklin and Main, then on the north side of Main Street just west of Court Street and more recently on North Court Street just north of Main.

Does the Circleville Pumpkin Show offer rides?

Yes, there are usually about 25-30 rides offered on the streets, from kiddies to adults.

Does the Circleville Pumpkin Show offer alcoholic beverages to the visitors?

No, alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be sold on the streets.

How about entertainment?

In addition to the parades there is entertainment on several stages in the show area as well as contests, such as, pie eating, egg tossing, big wheel race, Miss Pumpkin Show, Little Miss Pumpkin Show, hog calling, baby and pets.

Are there sufficient restrooms for visitors?

More than 70 portable restrooms are provided.

Is there sufficient parking for the visitors?

This is a project for many organizations and clubs for income for their projects.

How many volunteers work on the annual show?

More than 250 volunteers contribute their time & effort to make the show a success.

When does the planning for the next year start?

Immediately following the present show.

What organizations contribute to the operation of the show?

The Kiwanis Club has the Pet Parade, the Downtown Business Association sponsors the Window Decorating Contest, the Circleville Rotary Club the Big Wheel Race.

Where can a visitor get information during the show?

An Information Booth is located at the center of the show area, next to the pumpkin display for information all day long. Contact the Circleville Chamber of Commerce or the Circleville Pumpkin Show any other time.

What time do the activities begin each day?

The opening ceremonies are at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the first day and thereafter the activities begin at 10:00 a.m. for the balance of the show.

When is the Pumpkin Show held?

Always starts the third Wednesday in October through Saturday

Was the county fair and the pumpkin show always separate?

No. They were combined until 1946 when the county fair split off and went to the county fairgrounds and the Circleville Pumpkin Show Inc. was formed.

Do local churches, schools, civic and fraternal organizations participate in the Pumpkin Show?

More than 30 local organizations participate with the operation of food booths, sales of souvenirs etc. during the 4 day event.

What kinds of foods do these and other vendors sell during the Pumpkin Show?

Most foods are pumpkin related, such as, pumpkin pies, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin burgers, pumpkin taffy, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cake, pumpkin soups, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cream puffs, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin milkshakes, and many other concoctions that can be made with pumpkin.

How many pumpkin pies are sold during the Pumpkin Show?

As near as we can ascertain there are approximately 23,000 pumpkin pies sold during the 4 day show.

Is there a huge pumpkin pie?

Yes, Lindsey’s Bakery each year prepares a huge pumpkin pie 6 feet in diameter, weighing over 400 pounds and is on display in their bakery on West Main Street.

How many pumpkin donuts are sold?

Over 100,000.

How many parades are held in the 4 days?

Seven... Wed. - Little Miss 3:30 pm & Miss Pumpkin Show 8:00 pm; Thurs. - Baby 3:30 pm & Parade of Bands 8:00 pm; Fri. - Pet 3:30 pm, Fraternal and Civic 8:00 pm; Sat. - Queen’s Parade of the queen’s of the Ohio Festivals and Events Association 8:00 pm.

How many floats participate in the Circleville Pumpkin Show parade?

More than 50.

How many bands participate in the Circleville Pumpkin Show parades?

More than 50

Is the Circleville Pumpkin Show sponsored by an organization?

Yes, the Circleville Pumpkin Show, Inc. is operated by a board of trustees, 33 in number, a non-profit under the laws of the State of Ohio and is completely self-supporting.

How does the Pumpkin Show secure the use of the streets of Circleville?

Through a resolution by Circleville City Council authorizing the use of the streets.

Does it cost the City of Circleville to host the Pumpkin Show?

No. All city services are reimbursed to the city as well as the Pumpkin Show collecting city income taxes from the vendors.

Does the Circleville Pumpkin Show have displays for the visitors to see?

Yes, in addition to more than 100,000 pounds of pumpkins, squash and gourds on the street display there are displays of canned goods, baked goods, flower show, fruits and vegetables and an art show in the Watt Street Pumpkin Show building. A Home Arts and Craft Show is also held.

Why is the Circleville Pumpkin Show billed as “The Greatest FREE Show on Earth”?

Visitors can come, be entertained, spend as much time as they like and not be required to spend a dime.

Are there things of interest for all ages?

Yes. Age group 1-100 will find something of interest for them while at the show.

Where do all of the visitors come from?

In a recent survey we have found that a sampling of the visitors revealed people from 34 states and 13 foreign countries.

How widely has the Circleville Pumpkin Show received publicity?

The Circleville Pumpkin Show has received world-wide publicity. It has been featured on Japanese television and magazines, German newspapers, Stars and Stripes, NBC Today, publications from Our Weekly Reader, National Geographic and most of the major publications in the United States.

How might a person obtain information about the Circleville Pumpkin Show?

Phone 740-474-7000, write the Circleville Pumpkin Show, 159 E. Franklin St., Circleville, Ohio 43113 or visit the web site at www.pumpkinshow.com

How many seniors come from out of town?

Usually 30-35 bus tours stop at the Circleville Pumpkin Show with more than 3000 passengers.

How is attendance determined with no tickets or gate?

The parade route is 5,280 feet in length and it requires 9000 persons to line the parade route 1 person deep. The average number of persons deep during the parade is determined and multiplied by 9000 to get a reasonable estimate of the crowd at parade time.