Circleville Pumpkin Show


Billed as “The Greatest Free Show on Earth,” the Circleville Pumpkin Show has been a staple of autumn in Central Ohio since 1903.

Caramel apples at a festival.
Caramel apples are a festival staple.

The Greatest Free Show on Earth

Originally a small pumpkin and corn agricultural show, over the years it has blossomed into the festival we know today. The show features rides, exhibits, games, shopping, food and more. Attendance for the show has topped 400,000 and in 2007 was listed as the sixth largest festival in the United States.

Grandparents and children walk down the street during the Circleville Pumpkin Show.
Court Street and Main Street in the center of downtown Circleville are lined with vendors during the Pumpkin Show.

The show has been cancelled for 2020, leading locals to rename this year the Pumpkin No-Show. Prior to this year the festival operated nearly continuously The exceptions were a one year break during World War I and a two year break during World War II.

Grandmother enjoys a funnel cake with her granddaughter
Funnel cake is a festival favorite!

Giant Pumpkins and Queens

The Show kicks off every year with a weigh in of the giant pumpkin. The mammoth squash are over 1000 and sometimes approach 2000 pounds. There are parades held each afternoon. Popular parades include the pet parade, baby parade, and the Little Miss parade. The evening parades include the Miss Pumpkin Show Parade, Parade of Bands, and Parade of Queens. Prizes are given for baked goods, garden produce, photography, and art work.

Pumpkin manhole cover in Circleville, Ohio.
In Circleville pumpkin is king all year round.

On the street rides, games and a variety of foods are offered. There are a number of pumpkin flavored foods including burgers, ice cream, waffles, cream puffs, and more. A stop at Lindsey’s Bakery on Main Street provides a look at the world’s largest pumpkin pie and a taste of their famous pumpkin donuts.

Sausage and onions cooking at a festival booth.
The food is delicious at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.

While we can’t enjoy the sites, sounds, smells, and taste of the Pumpkin Show in 2020, we can mark our calendars for next year. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of Pumpkin Shows past.

Pyramid of pumpkins at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.
The pumpkin pyramid at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.

If you’d like to learn more about the Pumpkin Show, visit their website. And for more great ideas for travelling the Buckeye State, visit our day trips tab. Looking for the perfect pumpkin? Follow us as we visit four Ohio patches. And as always, thanks for FindingOhio with us!