Circleville Pumpkin Show

89.) Circleville Pumpkin Show – October 23, 2010

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Over a hundred years ago, when farmers came to Circleville, it was usually to pay taxes…not a happy time at all.

So, in 1903, to put Circleville in a more pleasant light, not to mention bring farmers and city residents together, then-mayor George Haswell put out a pumpkin and corn display in front of his business. He invited farmers to bring their best produce for the city to appreciate.

In time, other merchants also took part and a festival began to blossom.

And now…

…in the city with the pumpkin water tower…

…the Circleville Pumpkin Show is the 6th largest festival in the country, attracting more than 400,000 festival goers.

Now lasting five days in 2010…

…with 8 parades (about 2 per day) occurring throughout…

…I knew there would be traffic to deal with.

Even arriving at 11 am, I waited 20 minutes just to get off the ramp (2 hours later, this line would last for miles). And since the festival takes place in downtown Circleville, parking was pratically a nightmare.

The lots closest to the festival cost $10 per space and many of them were already full. By the time I arrived in the $5 zone, which mostly consisted of residents with homemade signs and lawns that fit 5 cars or so, I decided to drive just a bit further to find some free street parking.

When I arrived to the festival grounds, I felt the Pumpkin Show’s massive presence…

… making up around 8 city blocks (three streets north to south and 2 streets east to west) with gift and food vendors galore.

Everything you typically saw at any other festival was three-fold in Circleville, including…

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…at least 4 Peruvian gift vendor booths with their crazy animal hats…
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…countless rides scattered all about…


…live animals to ride or observe…

…entertainment stages for pie eating contests and bands…

…political involvement…

…and even some arcades.

And amongst it all, there was definitely a pumpkin feel…
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…in the streets…


…along the gift vendor booths…

…and definitely…

…definitely

…DEFINITELY…





…throughout the various food vendors.

The Pumpkin Show was a pumpkin lover’s dream come true!

And the map even had a “Pumpkin Products” section to tell me where I could get…

…the pumpkin burger, which was like a pumpkin-ized Sloppy Joe

…the pumpkin donut I ate before lunch, the pumpkin cannoli I ate after…

…and the pumpkin dumpling (with pumpkin ice cream) I pretty much only tasted…

…because I was about to explode at that point…

…almost like this inflatable walking soldier.

But before I got too sick of pumpkin products, I took delight in checking out the other pumpkin exhibitions, including…

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…the Flower Show and Canned Goods…

…the Home Arts and Crafts…

…the baked goods and veggies in the Pumpkin Show Building…

…and, there, near the Information booth…

…the Pumpkin Show that started it all.

In the very center of the festival…

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…pumpkins weren’t only arranged in a beautiful pyramid of orange…
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…they were available for purchase with proceeds going to missionary work teams and an area church.

This was also the area where festival goers got their pictures with the top-weighing pumpkins, including the Dr. Bob and Jo Liggetts’ first place pumpkin weighing at 1622 pounds (the world record at the time of writing this is 1810.5 pounds, set earlier this month).

And it may even be pumpkins like these that make…
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…Lindsey’s Bakery’s “world’s greatest pie.”

Once a record-breaking pie, their annual festival pie is now more a traditional thing to be visited and admired by festival goers. The most current record was broken at the late September New Bremen Pumpkinfest, where the pie weighed in at 3,699 pounds.

As I walked away from the pie, I bought a dozen pumpkin doughnuts to take home and stopped at this newly added mural for Circleville’s bicentennial…

…painted by Circleville native Eric Henn.

As festival goers crowded around and took pictures, I could see them take pleasure in the historical delights presented in the Circleville mural.

Unfortunately, for me, it was a different story.
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Remembering everything that I just ate, I saw in the mural a warning…

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…of what I would become if I stayed to eat even more.

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