The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

Council on Aging going to Pumpkin Show

VW independent staff/submitted information

A long running festival that’s also billed as the largest of its kind in the United States is the destination of the Van Wert County Council on Aging’s October 21 trip.

The Circleville Pumpkin Show has been around since October of 1903, when Circleville Mayor George R. Haswell decided to hold a small pumpkin and corn exhibit in front of his store to celebrate the local harvest. The small exhibit featured corn, carved pumpkins and other harvest-themed displays. Because of the prominence of pumpkins in the first exhibit, the name “The Pumpkin Show” was then coined. In the following years local merchants became involved to improve the size and attendance of the festival.

Since 1903 the festival has been held annually except for one year during World War I, two years during World War II and last year, when it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For newcomers to the festival, one of the greatest attractions is the largest pumpkin competition where the pumpkins are so large that they have to be brought in on trucks and off loaded with power equipment. To date the largest giant pumpkin at the festival weighed in at over 1700 pounds. A local bakery also creates a pumpkin pie that will weigh around 400 pounds.

Today’s festival boasts over nine city blocks with attractions and events, that range from baked goods competitions, flower shows, fruits and vegetable displays, canned goods, an art show and window decorations. On the day of the Council on Aging’s trip, there will also be giant pumpkin carving demonstrations, a baby judging competition and live entertainment.

At Circleville’s Memorial Hall there will be the “Eyes of Freedom Lima Company Memorial” which is a life-size mural painting of the 23 fallen soldiers of the Marine Corps Lima Company of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines who were deployed during the Iraqi War.

The festival will offer every pumpkin themed food you can think of, including 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. There are so many varieties of pumpkin pie at the festival that they estimate they sell over 23,000 pumpkin pies over the four days of the festival.

The cost to attend the Circleville Pumpkin Show excursion is $95 and spots are limited. The trip will involve some walking.

Those interested in reserving a spot for the excursion can stop at the Van Wert Council on Aging , 220 Fox Road, Van Wert, by phone at 419.238.5011 or by email at

POSTED: 10/09/21 at 12:19 am. FILED UNDER: News