1999 Pumpkin Festival Queen Martha McAnlis with 797-pound "King Pumpkin" Photo: Reed Tychonski
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival
Begun in 1964 in a Catholic church basement as the
Barnesville Fall Fair, the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival emerged
three years later into the streets of Barnesville, Ohio, The first
festival attracted 300 people; attendance in 1999 was over 100,000
people for the four-day event. The highlight of the Festival is the
"King Pumpkin" weigh-in, in which $1.00 per pound is paid to the
grower of the heaviest pumpkin; the winner in 1999, tipped the
scales at a record 797 pounds. "King Pumpkin" is auctioned off on
Saturday night, and the highest bidder takes custody of the pumpkin
for 10 days, usually displaying it at his business. Then returning
to the Festival organizers, the pumpkin is gutted, and its seeds
are dried and packaged to be sold at the next year's Festival.
Other Festival activities include carnival rides, a
queen pageant, a classic and antique car show, entertainment on two
stages, hog-calling and tobacco-spitting contests, and a giant
pumpkin parade. Marking its 37th year, the 2000 event will be held
on the streets of Barnesville on September 21-24. Fifty committees,
comprising 300-400 people, work on the planning and implementation.
Also involved in the Festival are Barnesville civic organizations
and clubs, who use the event as their major annual fund-raiser.
Project documentation comprises a three-page history
of the festival, a list of 1999 Ohio Pumpkin Festival Committee
members, a list of "King Pumpkin" winners (1964-1999), 32 8 x 10
color photographs with descriptions, a CD with all of the above in
digital format, a promotional flyer, and two videotapes (one VHS,
one digital video format) of the Festival.
Originally submitted by: Robert W. Ney, Representative (18th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.