Visiting the Circleville Pumpkin Show

(courtesy of the Ohio Dept. Travel and Tourism)

The Circleville Pumpkin Show, held annually in the south-central Ohio town of Circleville since 1903, calls itself the "Greatest Free Show on Earth. The four-day event makes a nice fall getaway from Cleveland and features a parade, pumpkin treats, carnival rides and some of the biggest pumpkins you'll ever see. The show is held on nine city blocks in downtown Circleville. The best part: the event is free. The Circleville Pumpkin Show is always held on the third Wednesday through Saturday of October.

The 2016 dates are October 19 though 22.


The Circleville Pumpkin Show began in 1903, the brainchild of the mayor who wanted to entice more fall visitors to the area. The show grew to attract around 300,000 visitors annually by 1950 and adopted its "Greatest Free Show on Earth" moniker. Even though the show is free, it is self-supporting through vendor fees and utility payments to the City of Circleville. For more about the history and pictures of past events, visit the show's Web site.


Events at the Circleville Pumpkin Show include a daily parade, a pumpkin pie eating contest, the weigh-in for the largest pumpkin (the record is 1,315 pounds), live entertainment, pumpkin sculpting, a hog calling contest and a variety of craft demonstrations.

If you can't make it to Circleville this year, you can peak at the events via the Pumpkin Festival Webcam.

The Food:

Food at the Circleville Pumpkin Show includes 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 treats that can be made with pumpkin.

Hours and admission:

The Circleville Pumpkin Show is open on Wednesday, October 19 from 5pm to 10pm; Thursday, October 20, from 9am to 11pm; Thursday-Saturday, October 21-22, from 10am to 11pm. Admission is free.


Limited free parking is available on the streets surrounding the pumpkin show on a first come, first served basis. There are additional parking lots near the festival at varying prices.

Pumpkin show facts:

  • More than 23,000 pumpkin pies are sold each year at the Pumpkin Show.
  • More than 100,000 pumpkin donuts are sold annually.
  • The 2012 show drew visitors from 34 U.S. states and 13 countries.
  • The annual attendance averages around 400,000 people

Hotels near the Circleville Pumpkin Show:

Hotels near the Circleville Pumpkin Show include the Comfort Inn (check rates), the Holiday Inn Express (check rates), the Castle Inn Bed and Breakfast (check rates) and the Budget Host Hotel.

Contact information:

The Circleville Pumpkin Show
159 East Franklin Street
Circleville, Ohio 43113
740 474-7000
Event Website