October Ohio Fall Festivals & Autumn Events


hauntville(Admission: $16)

  • When: Late September through October on Thursdays and Sundays 7pm-10pm and Fridays and Saturdays 7pm-Midnight
  • Location: (Map It) 1579 West River Rd. Elyria, Oh 44035
  • Phone: (440) 655-0016
  • Web Site: http://www.elyriahauntedhouse.com

Hauntville-Ohio’s Scariest Haunted Houses. Wicked Clowns in 4-D, the first and only 4-D Haunted House in the state of Ohio…The MUST SEE Haunted attraction this year. The thrilling new way of to get scared suing 4 of your senses. Feel the FEAR….3 Haunted Houses for 1 Low Price! This Haunted House uses new interactive technology combining eye-popping 3-D visual effects. The use of 3D glasses combined with physical and special effects that are all synchronized together. The effect creates an intense, thrilling and exciting New way to get scared! They created an experience full of emotions, exploiting as many scenes as possible making it an unforgettable visual and sensory experience.

Niederman Farm Corn Maze & Pumpkin

(Admission: Call for information)

  • Open: Mid September through the end of October
  • Location: (Map It) Niederman Family Farm at 4972 LeSourdsville-WestChester Drive in Liberty Township, Ohio 45011 (between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio)
  • Phone: 513-779-6184
  • Web: http://www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com
  • Play Video

This Southwest Ohio working farm provides the ultimate fall experience! Niederman Family Farm invites you to experience a 22 acre corn maze, pick pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, take a hayride, visit and feed the barnyard animals and have a picnic. Spend the day, bring your family, school group, church group, scout troop, Mom’s club, or just yourself.

Pumpkin Fest at Pigeon Roost Farm

(No Admission charge for market area. $6 per person charge for “Fun Center”/ Corn Maze)

  • When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from mid September through October
  • Location: (Map It) Hebron, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-928-4925

Come Celebrate Fall in the Country.  Enjoy a nostalgic family trip back to a working farm.  After more than 30 years, it’s still growing!  See the old barns, friendly barnyard animals, and interesting display of antiques and observation beehive.  Choose from thousands of pumpkins in all sizes and shapes, colorful and unique heritage squash, several sizes of Indian corn, corn shocks, straw bales, hard shell and decorative gourds.  Young and young-at-heart will have a great time exploring the “Great Pumpkin Fun Center” with new Fort Pigeon Roost, giant gerbil wheels, a “goat walk”,  Corn Maze,  and the Enchanted Forest.  The kids favorites—hillside slide, spooky straw tunnel and Conestoga corn box are still included.  Five shops have handmade crafts and a large selection of fall decorations, and the children have their own “Kids Korner”.  On weekends there are wagon rides, face painting, food concessions, crafters and demonstrations.  So come visit and bring your camera to capture some of those special memories! See website for scheduling school, birthday and group outings.

Fall Fun Days Harvest Festival

  • When: Starts in late September and always ends on October 31
    Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to dusk (till 11:00 p.m. for bonfire parties)
  • Location: (Map It) is 9015 London Groveport Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
  • Phone: 614-878-7980 or call the recorded INFOLINE at 614-878-9462
  • Web: http://www.circlesfarm.com/fallfundays.html

Celebrated annually, many families, schools, churches, companies and many other groups and individuals annually visit the Fall Fun Days Festival at Circle S Farms, located in scenic southwest Franklin County. Our festival features hayrides to pick a pumpkin, a six acre corn maze, sunflower maze, Fun Hay Barn with slides, Scarecrow Cave, Fodder Lane, petting zoo, weekend entertainment and much more. Private hayrides with bonfire parties are available. There is a full service bakery with many tasty treats including freshly made donuts of all kinds. On the weekends the Pumpkin Cafe is open. Group reservations are requested and walk-ins are welcome.www.circlesfarm.com

Fall Foliage Trains at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

hocking-train(Train Fare Applies)

  • Open Fall Foliage Trains are offered  Thursdays and Fridays in October in addition to the regular Saturday and Sunday Schedule at 1:00 p.m. and last about 2 ¼ hours, including a 30-minute stop at a reconstructed 1840’s era village.
  • Location: (Map It) The Depot in Nelsonville contains the ticket office, and it is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and Hocking Parkway (Fulton Street), behind the Rocky Boots Outlet
  • Phone: 1-800-967-7834
  • Web: http://www.hvsry.org/

The 22-mile round trip to Logan, Ohio and back are leisurely rides along the Hocking River and Appalachian foothills providing great family-friendly entertainment. Choose to ride in either the 1920’s commuter coaches or open air cars. There’s even first-class service in a restored B&O coach complete with air-conditioning. The most used engine is a diesel locomotive built in 1952. The interesting history of the area and the railway are highlighted by the conductor’s narrative as the train passes by a canal lock, historic old company towns and other landmarks while following the Hocking River through rolling hills filled with natural fall splendor.

During the trips, passengers have an opportunity to step off the train and back into time at Robbins Crossing. Instantly, cooking from the nearby wood stove floats an inviting aroma passed your nose. Clanking and clamoring rings out from the fully-operational blacksmith shop. Ladies in period-dress are busy candle making and spinning yarn. Folks gather on porches for some good ole Appalachian-style music dancing off instruments of Yesteryear.

The leisurely visit may be commemorated with a unique purchase at the railway’s Gift Shop and Train Store.

Fall Hayrides

clemet-hay($8 for adults, $6 for children ages 3 to 11, and free for children 2 and younger (must sit on adult lap). Cost includes hayride and entertainment)

  • When: Saturday nights from 6 – 10 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Chalet Recreation Area • Mill Stream Run Reservation. Chalet Recreation Area is located on Valley Parkway in Mill Stream Run Reservation, between Routes 42 & 82 in Strongsville – just off I-71 & the Ohio Turnpike.
  • Phone: 440-572-9990
  • Web Site: www.clevelandmetroparks.com

The tractor-drawn hayrides leave every half hour and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Plus, on Saturday nights enjoy square dancing for all ages and a hay maze. On Sundays, bonus activities include pumpkin painting, crafts and coloring stations. Private hayrides available are also available.

Haunted Hayride & Black Bog

  • When: Fridays and Saturdays from late September through the end of October
  • Location: (Map It) 6070 Springboro Road in Lebanon, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-748-2272

Located on over 50 acres of natural woodlands along Bull Run Creek, the 30-minute tractor-drawn haunted hayride brings a new look and feel to the crisp autumn. Hunker down with your friends and family as you tour the spooky trails, the unexpected lurking at every turn.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods…After the hayride be sure and take in the evening’s entertainment featuring story-telling by the bon fires. Enjoy the harvest at the on-site concession stand. Pick your own pumpkin and if you are really brave, dare to enter the Black Bog.


(Call for admission information)

Little ghouls, boys and animals can enjoy three spooktacular weekends of fun. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during HallZOOween, young Frankensteins (12 and under) can trick-or-treat their way around the Zoo.  Along the way, guests may encounter Pumpkin Pandemonium – the Zoo animal’s version of trick-or-treating, including Gorilla Pumpkin Hunt, Snow Monkey Pumpkin Hide & Seek, Elephant Pumpkin Smash, Indian Rhino Apple Bob and Polar Bear Pumpkin Bob. Other activities include a Little Creatures Carnival, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin patch, spooktacular train ride, scare-ousel, strolling characters, face painting, and mini pumpkin decorating activities.

Lake Eerie Fearfest

(Admission: Ghostly Manor Only – $15, all 5 haunted houses – $25, fast pass Ghostly Manor – $25 and fast pass all 5 haunted houses – $35)

  • When: Weekends in October – Friday/Saturday – 7:30PM – Midnight. Sunday – 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Halloween – 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Location: (Map It) 3319 US Route 250 in Sandusky OH 44870
  • Phone: 419-626-4467
  • Web: http://www.lakeeeriefearfest.com/

This October, four legendary haunts unite with newly renovated Ghostly Manor, as seen on The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been.”  Lake Eerie Fearfest bands the mysterious legends of Lake Erie together under one roof to create the area’s newest, unique and feared haunted destination.  You don’t want to miss the nationally recognized Ghostly Manor, and all new haunted encounters brought in from around the world, including Darkmare, Caged, Quarantine & Eerie Chateau!  Lake Eerie Fearfest consists of six acres of non-stop haunted action.

Lantern Light Wagon Rides

(Admission: $9/person)

  • When: Saturdays in October from 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Location: (Map It) 3779 St. Rt. 132 in Clarksville, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-289-2500
  • Web Site: www.BonnybrookFarms.com

The Lantern Light Wagon Ride is a family friendly, history based ghost tour. Travel the old stone roads of this historical farm, back to a time when only lanterns lit the way. Trappers, Indians, frontiersmen and pioneer settlers portrayed by professional theater actors tell stories of the Civil War in Ohio 150 years ago at stops along the graveyard, old railway, old ruins along the Underground Railroad and others.  There’s also a spooky Lantern Lit Corn Maze. Enjoy a delicious “made from scratch” farm dinner before the wagon ride at the Farm Kitchen Café or hot chocolate, cider, Kettle Corn and other seasonal foods afterwards, then, gather ’round the campfire for a ghost story.

Leaders Family Farms and Scream Acres

  • When: October on Fridays 6pm until 10pm, Saturdays 1pm until 10pm, Sundays 1pm until 9pm. ScreamAcres opens at dark each night.
  • Location: (Map It) Leaders Family Farms located a mile west of Napoleon, Ohio just off of state route 24 on county road 16
  • Phone: 419-599-1570

Fun for all ages. You can “get lost” in the twists and turns of a seven acre jack-o-lantern corn maize. Win prizes at Northwest Ohio’s only corn cannon range. Sing and dance on the karaoke stage. Take a scenic and peaceful hayride around the farm. Take your pick of thousands of pumpkins in the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Kids can get “moo-ving” in a cow train, play on the slides or make their way through straw tunnels. For those with young children there’s a special place – Little Farmers Barnyard. It includes a corn box, mini straw jump and inflatables to enjoy. There’s also a wide array of concessions.

For those who are brave of heart and dared to be scared, explore Scream Acres Haunted Cornfield, Northwest Ohio’s most terrifying field of corn! This separate field of corn has many turns and twists with the added fear of the unknown. With creatures lurking behind the walls of corn you never know who… or what may be “stalking” you! At ScreamAcres Haunted Cornfield “you pay to get in…. but pray to get out!!”

Ohio Renaissance Festival

  • When: Saturdays & Sundays from September 5 – October 25, 2015 plus Labor Day. Hours are from 10:30am – 6:00pm, rain or shine
  • Location: (Map It) Renaissance Park in Harveysburg, OH (conveniently located between Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus in Warren County on State Route 73 between I-71 and I-75)
  • Phone: 513-897-7000
  • Web: http://www.renfestival.com/

renfestOhio’s premier family event features 11 stages of continuous entertainment, 7 food and beverage buildings, and more than 130 arts and crafts shops.  Knights, comedy, daring stunt shows, giant roasted turkey legs, bread bowl stews, handmade arts and crafts abound in the authentically recreated 30-acre 16th Century English village.

Old West Pumpkin Fest – Rockin R Ranch

old-west-pumpkinfest(Admission: $9 per person)

  • When: Weekends in October – every Saturday & Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) Rockin’-R-Ranch at 19066 E. River Rd. (SR 252) in Columbia Station, Ohio 44028
  • Web Site: www.clevelandhayride.com

At Rockin R Ranch’s Old West Pumpkin Fest, toddlers adolescents, young families and Grandma’s and Grandpa’s can’t wait to see the fabulous “Country Kids’ Show” performed live on stage featuring costume characters that your child would love and recognize. The Live musical show is performed five times a day. This is an interactive show for the kids where they can dance and play instruments. Take as many rides as you want on the Pumpkin Patch Hayride that takes you to the Pumpkin Patch and pick and paint your own pumpkins. The whole family can walk through the Funny Fun House, pet the animals at the Petting Farm, get your face painted and much more. Where can you go and ride ponies all day long at no extra charge? There is a farm market, souvenir shop and concession stands for your favorite food and drinks.

Spooky Ranch at Rockin R Ranch

spooky-ranch(Admission: $11-$20 Package options)

  • When: Weekends in October – Fridays & Saturdays 7 pm-11:30 pm and Thursdays & Sundays 7 pm-9:30 pm
  • Location: (Map It) Rockin’-R-Ranch is at 19066 East River Rd (SR 252) in Columbia Station, OH 44028
  • Phone: 440-236-5454
  • Web Site: www.spookyranch.com

Spooky Ranch, Cleveland’s premiere haunted event has recently been awarded the 25th top haunted house in the country! Over 20 plus years of screams and appealing to the masses. The Disney of haunted attractions in Cleveland. Spooky Ranch is most known for its Famous Haunted Hayride. “You will scream, laugh and be amazed, leaving you absolutely entertained. ” Not your Ordinary boring hayride.” There’s terror and suspense at every turn” A Hollywood theatrical production with scenes, sets and special effects seen nowhere else on the world. There’s a Thirty foot tall fire breathing creatures, 18 foot wingspan animated monsters, monsters that pick up the whole wagon & shakes it!!  Extreme Nightmares Haunted House is Ohio’s most extreme haunted house and takes haunt seekers to another level of terror and screams. Crazy Clowns in 3D Haunted House -Experience the psychedelic haunted crazy adventure wearing 3D glasses. 3D is the new generation of entertainment with crisp, bright ultra realistic images. Imagine monsters and clowns so life like you stepped inside a scary movie or video game. Await the anticipation of crazed, psycho, frightful clowns.

Zoar Village’s Lantern Tours of Ghosts

(Admission: $18 per person)

  • When: By reservation only from September through October at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays
  • Location: (Map It) Zoar, OH 44697 – Located 2.5 miles east of I-77 (exit 93) on St. Rte. 212
  • Phone: 330-874-2002
  • Web: http://www.canoe-ohio.com/lantern.htm

Visitors are invited to take a haunted stroll through the village with history and ghost stories told by costumed guides. Overnight accommodations are available at the bed and breakfasts in the village.

Come be a part of history this year at the historic village of Zoar, Ohio. German Separatists founded the Village of Zoar in the Tuscarawas River Valley of Ohio.  In 1817 they left Germany and came to the United States seeking religious freedom.  Later they formed a communal society that lasted for 79 years, and was one of the most successful communal societies in the United States. Today, many of the buildings the Separatists built still line the main street of the historic village. Ten of these buildings are operated as museums by the Zoar Community Association. For information about daytime tours, please call 330-874-2646 or visit the Zoar Store at 198 Main St., Zoar, OH 44697.

Ohio Gourd Show

(Admission: $4/person / kids 12 and under free / free parking)

This unique event brings together many of the most outstanding gourd artists and crafts persons from all across the nation exhibiting their finest work in competition and for sale. The show also features workshops in gourd crafting, trade show, children’s activities, demonstrations, music and thousands of dry gourds for sale.

Ohio Swiss Festival

swiss-fest(Admission is Free)

Experience the best of Switzerland here in the “Little Switzerland of Ohio.” Visitors will be drawn to the Swiss music and authentic Swiss costumes. Tons of Swiss cheese, polka bands, alpine horn players and a parade are just some of the highlights.

Paul Bunyan Show

(Admission $8.00, Students and Seniors w/Golden Buckeye Card $4.00. Children under 6 free)

  • When: October 2 – 4, 2015 – Friday & Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Location: (Map It) Guernsey County Fairgrounds at 335 Old National Rd in (Old Washington) Cambridge, OH (Exit 186 off of I-70).
  • Phone 614-497-9580

The Official Paul Bunyan ShowSM is one of the nation’s largest and oldest forest industry shows. Show attendees will see more than 130 exhibits representing all facets of the forest industry throughout North America. Representatives will be on site to showcase equipment, manpower and the dedication that has made the industry what it is today. Lumberjack entertainment and competitions will take place throughout the weekend as well as numerous educational sessions on topics ranging from logging equipment safety and maintenance to the history and restoration of the bald eagle in Ohio to Ohio’s edible mushrooms. Visitors to the show will not want to leave without trying an official Bunyan Burger, a 14 oz angus burger with all the trimmings. For more information, visitwww.ohioforest.org.

Colonial Williamsburg Festival

waynecvb-Williamsburg(Admission is Free)

  • When:  October 3 – 4, 2015 from 9 am-5 pm
  • Location: (Map It) Pine Tree Barn & farm, 4374 Shreve Road, Wooster, OH  44691
  • Phone:   330-264-1014
  • Web:  www.PineTreeBarn.com

Step back 200 years in time to 18th century Williamsburg. For two days the Pine Tree Barn is transformed into a bustling colonial village with a colonial militia encampment and period cuisine.  Explore the market place with unique wares that surround the village square. Find special treasurers inside Pine Tree and meet the makers of the hand-made furniture carried year round in the Heritage Loft.  Meet over 40 carefully selected artisans, many of national recognition, who will demonstrate techniques of traditional craftsmanship.  Throughout the weekend, enjoy entertainment and historical presentations from a variety of special guests, re-enactors and more.  For the kids, there will also be face painting, a petting zoo & games.

Fall Gathering at The Preble County Historical Center

Fall Gathering, something for everyone! Auction, living history interpreters, ag-demos, animals, traditional tradesmen, good food, hay rides, kids’ activities, kiddy tractor pull, Ham & bean soup, homemade ice cream, music, all at one site. Located off St. Rt. 122, 6 miles SE of Eaton, 1 mile NW of Gratis. Auction services provided by Kramer & Kramer Auctioneers, Eaton, Ohio. Consignment fee $10 per item + 10% commission: Visitwww.kramerauctions.com for more auction details. Music: Miami Valley Flute Circle with John De Boer (Spirit Thunder), Southern Singers Native American Drumming and Dancing, Higher Vision Bluegrass Band, more bluegrass and Celtic Music throughout the weekend! There’s something for everyone at The Fall Gathering!

Algonquin Mill Fall Festival

(Admission: $8 / vehicle)

Come enjoy this lively festival set in a reconstructed pioneer village centered around an operational, steam-powered, 19th century flour mill. There is also a steam powered sawmill and antique power show, old railway depot with model train layouts, Time-honored crafts, skills and techniques are actively demonstrated throughout the weekend with many products available for purchase. Sit back and enjoy country, bluegrass or gospel music, clog dancers or our fine high school bands and choirs on our open air stage. Quality contemporary crafts, delicious period food, great hands on activities for kids.

Bob Evans Farm Festival

(Admission $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 6-18 and children under 5 free)

  • When: October 9 – 11, 2015 from 9am-5pm (Usually held the second full weekend of October every year)
  • Location: (Map It) Rio Grande, Ohio at the Bob Evans Farm
  • Phone: 740-245-5304
  • Web Site:  www.bobevansfarm.com
  • Play Video

This celebration of the harvest season attracts thousands with its entertainment, traditional crafts, farm contests, food, children’s  activities, and demonstrations.  A weekend of fun for friends and family of all ages, the Bob Evans Farm Festival offers a taste of yesteryear. Click here to read an article about Bob Evens Farm.

Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival

(Admission: $4, children younger than 12 are free)

Take a fall color tour of 18 covered bridges throughout Ashtabula County. Upon request, free tour maps are available. This annual event is family-oriented and includes children’s activities, contests, crafts, a parade, queen’s pageant, quilt show, farmers market, entertainment, great food and antique engines, tractors and automobiles.

Holmes County Antique Festival

(Admission is Free)

The festival features a Classic Car Parade, Firemen’s Parade and Grand Parade. In addition, there are 25-30 Antique Dealers, Arts and Crafts, 5-K Run, Antiques, continuous entertainment and great food. Take a walking trip through the village and view the Downtown Window Museum, shop in unique stores and then tour the Victorian House and enjoy the beautiful Fall season in Holmes County.

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

(Admission is Free)  

  • When: October 10 – 11, 2015 from 9am – 8pm and 9am – 6pm respectively (Second full weekend in October)
  • Location: (Map It) Waynesville, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-897-8855
  • Web Site: http://www.sauerkrautfestival.com/

The people of Waynesville may debate whether they are the Antiques Capital of the Midwest or the Home of the Sauerkraut Festival but make no mistake they have lots of both. And some say antiques and sauerkraut saved this little town. Either way, more than 11,000 pounds of sauerkraut are cooked up for the annual festival. Some of the more unique recipes for visitors’ indulgence include sauerkraut ice cream, brownies, doughnuts and pizza. The local folks urge that just because it’s made with sauerkraut doesn’t mean it tastes like it. Awards are given to those with the largest cabbage, greenest cabbage and most “congenial” cabbage.

Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival

($5.00 for guests 12 and older includes admission to the living history buildings for tour. Parking is free.)

  • When: October 16 – 18, 2015 – Friday, 10am to 6pm. Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Sunday, 10am to 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 600 North Whitewoman St. in Coshocton, OH  43812 at Historic Roscoe Village
  • Phone:  800-877-1830
  • Web Site: www.roscoevillage.com

Host to over 100 talented artisans and crafters, this invitational festival celebrates the sights, sounds and scents of autumn.  Smell the fresh apple butter simmering over an open fire, and stroll through the street to a variety of music including bluegrass, country, gospel and tunes from days gone-by. Find a quilt raffle, artisans’ items raffle and fun, unique contests to enter, and don’t miss various educational and entertaining outdoor demonstrations throughout the weekend.  Special features include Canal Town Journey Tours, eerie Spirit Tours, canal boat rides, and a children’s activity area.

Fall Festival of Leaves

(Admission is Free)

See the autumn colors in the hills and valleys of the village of Bainbridge. The community is open to all visitors for their annual festival to celebrate the season. It hosts parades, pageants, flea markets and a midway with entertainment for all. In addition, there is a pedal tractor pull, arts and crafts, 5K run, log sawing contest, and antique tractor show plus several self-guided scenic tours of the beautiful colorful landscape. Located in South Central Ohio on U.S. Rt. 50.

Nature at Night

(Admission is Free)

  • When: Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 4-9 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 3037 SOM Center Rd. Willoughby Hills, Ohio 44094 (not event location, follow directional signs to event site)
  • Phone: 440-473-3370
  • Web Site: www.clevelandmetroparks.com

Find out what is out and about after dark at Cleveland Metroparks “Nature at Night” event. Visitors can enjoy a variety of free activities related to the night, including live nocturnal animal programs, children’s crafts, and night hikes.

Circleville Pumpkin Show

(Admission is Free) 

  • When: October 21 – 24, 2015 (always 3rd Wednesday through Saturday of October)
  • Location: (Map It) Circleville, Ohio
  • Web Site: www.pumpkinshow.com

Great pumpkins Charlie Brown, this is said to be Ohio’s oldest and largest pumpkin celebration. It hosts seven different parades in half as many days. This includes the Pumpkin Parade, Pet Parade and Baby Parade to name a few. The events also include a Big Wheel Race, world’s largest pumpkin pie, a pumpkin toss, pie eating competition and Fun Show. Additional contests of interest include hog calling, egg toss and pumpkin carving. Many displays, arts, crafts and live entertainment also accompany the festivities as well as plenty of pumpkins, squash and gourds.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler


It’s the “Greatest Free Show on Earth.” That’s what the promoters of Circleville’s festivities contend, and no one argues the point. Furthermore it’s the sixth largest festival of any kind in the whole country with attendance over four days soaring to 400,000 fun-loving people.

If Charley Brown is still looking for the “Great Pumpkin” this fall, he need only to extricate himself from the comic strip and come to the Pickaway county seat, because that’s what all the clamor is about—pumpkins—really great pumpkins.

Since this event was started in 1903 by the city mayor with a single display of corn stalks and pumpkins, it has grown to a street fair that covers eight city blocks filled with twenty-five or more amusement rides and over three hundred food booths, games and craft vendors. There are daily parades, the obligatory beauty contest, and constant entertainment performed on three different stages from early morning until threatened by the midnight hour.

Regardless of the many activities vying for your attention, the main theme of pumpkins never wanders far from awareness.  The emphasis begins early the first day with the Giant Pumpkin Weigh In on Main Street. If you’re thinking of bringing that nicely matured 80 lb. orange globe from your garden to enter in the competition, forget about it. These pumpkins are trucked in, usually one at a time, and off-loaded with heavy equipment. Behemoths weighing 400 to 500 pounds are as common as Thanksgiving pies, and Dr. Robert Liggett, who has won several times, set the record in 2004 with a prodigious contribution from his special patch tipping the scales at 1353 pounds. Holy jumpin Jehoshaphat!

In 1946, seeing that their fair was growing by leaps and bounds, the citizens of Circleville formed a non-profit corporation exclusively for the operation of the pumpkin show. The show is self-supporting, with all profits turned over to the city for community projects. Their mission statement—pointing proudly to the “no gate, no ticket” policy—can be summed up with intent to promote goodwill among Pickaway county residents and all who visit—of which the perennial success seems self evident.

Every year the fair starts on the third Wednesday of October and runs through Saturday night. There are both afternoon and evening parades with more than forty floats, and fifty bands participating. Stage performing music groups range from country pop to gospel, jazz, rock and youth bands.  There are cooking demos, dance extravaganzas, an egg toss, a pumpkin toss, and a demonstration by a gentleman who bills himself as Gus the Squashcarver who has elevated pumpkin sculpture to an art form.

Adding to the colossal feats of nature, consider the effort taken by Lindsey’s Bakery each year in throwing together and displaying their gigantic 6-foot diameter, 400-pound pumpkin pie. Supplemental to the 100 pounds of pumpkin are ingredients of 26 gallons of milk, 15 dozen eggs and 42 pounds of dough baked for six hours.

Events fill every hour of every day—far too many to mention here—but among them, annual favorites are the pumpkin pie eating contest, and hog calling.  As you may surmise, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is all about old-fashioned, unpretentious fun.

There will be more than 20,000 pumpkin pies for sale and in excess of 100,000 pounds of pumpkins on display.  By the time you leave you’ll be fed up with pumpkins—that doesn’t mean melancholy—it’s just that everything you’re fed is pumpkin flavored—donuts, pancakes, cookies, ice cream, cake, fudge, cream puffs, even burgers. If you want to burn off some of those calories, bring your running shoes. There is a five-mile run usually scheduled for Saturday morning—you may need it.

To schedule your visit to the day or days of favorite activities call 740-474-7000 or check the websitewww.pumpkinshow.com for a full calendar of events.

Getting to Circleville is easy. It’s just off of Route 23 about twenty miles south of Columbus. Before you see the signs you’ll recognize the water tower painted like a pumpkin—stem and all. Don’t want to drive? There are more than thirty bus tours that stop at the show. Information on the tours is also available through the above phone listing.

Oh, and if your thinking of waiting around for a piece of that 400-pound pie, forget about that too.  They feed that to the hogs they call in.

By Robert Carpenter

Doll & Bear Show and Sale

(Admission: adults $4.00 and Children $1.00)

Antique, Collectible, Modern, Artist Dolls, Bears and Related items

Appraisals by Barbara DeHays – $3 per item – limit 2

Doll Display: The Wizard of Oz

Food Available * Door Prizes * Free Parking

YMCA Camp Willson Mother/Daughter Weekend

ymca-mother-daughter(Cost $165/pair, $50 for each daughter beyond pair)

Enjoy a fun-filled relaxing weekend and connect with your daughter.  Activities include rock wall climbing, nature hikes, outdoor cooking, fishing, horseback riding, crafts, campfire, giant swing and much more. Stay in heated winterized cabins with shower/restrooms accommodations.  Call YMCA Camp Willson, located in Bellefontaine, Ohio at 800-423-0427 for registration information. Visit http://ymcacolumbus.org/willson/mother-daughter.html for more information.

Tall Stacks – Cincinnati Riverboats

(Ticket prices vary) 

  • Open: Scheduled every four years but was last cancelled in 2012 and a new date has yet to be announced
  • Location: (Map It) Cincinnati, OH
  • Contact info@tallstacks.com

The world’s largest gathering of riverboats, this is one of the best special events in America, let alone Ohio! It features more than 350 different specialty cruises from steamboats in the port of Cincinnati on the Ohio River.  Visitors will be able to take tours of and/or go on cruises in the riverboats.  The event will also house world-class live music, food, boat races, and entertainment galore for the kids.

Middfest International

(Admission: Adults $5 for all three days, kids under 12 are free)

  • When: October 2015 dates to be confirmed
  • Location: (Map It) Donham Plaza, Downtown, Middletown, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-425-7707

Middfest International began in 1981. This three day educational and cultural event attracts more than 100,000 people annually. Its mission: to promote world understanding, friendship and peace, by showcasing a different country every year.

Beginning at the early preview Garden Party and Gala, cut flowers and container arrangements of native plants will be on display. On into the weekend visitors can participate in Indigenous cooking demonstrations; drum and dance circle; films, conversation, genealogy and literature talks. Visitors may also choose to participate and explore interactive centers, exhibits in science, Youth Park, history and culture.

Middfest International was named a Top One Hundred Event by the American Bus Association in 1985 and received the prestigious Post Corbett Award for the Most Extraordinary Event in 1995.  And, in 2004 Middfest International was inducted into The Greater Cincinnati International Hall of Fame.


hocktober-fest(Admission is Free)

  • When: October 2015 dates to be confirmed – from 10am – 1AM) – 15 hours
  • Location: (Map It) Hocking College, 3301 Hocking Pkwy, Nelsonville, OH 45764
  • Phone: 614-221-2885 ext. 22
  • Web:  www.hocktoberfest.org

Hocktoberfest is a free event filled with something for everyone. Some of the activities that will be taking place this year include live music, outdoor skill learning and demos, a fishing derby, Clint Bowyer & Don Schumacher racing teams, horse drawn wagon rides, local vendors, pumpkin decorating, exhibits from COSI and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, bull riding and roping demonstrations by Rocky sponsored athlete and former PRS World Finalist Shane Rickly and a live lumberjack show featuring stunts like axe throwing, chainsaw carving and log rolling.

Some of the bands that will be performing at the festival include the indie folk-pop band the Shook Twins who will be headlining the lineup as part of their national tour, the progressive high-energy old-time bluegrass band the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, the unique chamber/pop/folk band Bombadil and Durango Sole Performer contest winner and acoustic guitarist Taylor Baker.

Don’t forget to check out the The Boot Factory Grill and Hocking College Culinary Arts food booths. Wash all the homemade dishes down with a beer in the beer garden. See you Hocktoberfest!

French City Chili Fest

(Admission is Free)

  • When: October 2015 date to be confirmed – from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Gallipolis, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-446-0596 or 740-446-6882

Chili Cooks from through the region will arrive early Saturday morning to start preparing their secret recipes, hoping to take home the title of Best Chili! There are two categories, Individual and Business, with prizes for the top three in each.  Visitors also have a vote, choosing their favorite chili, to receive the People’s Choice Award.

Next to the beverage tent, a group of people will be glued to the two 46 inch LCD televisions, cheering on their favorite football team! In addition, there will be inflatables for the kids, a cornhole tournament and a hotdog eating contest! A number of vendors will on site. Think you may have the winning Chili recipe? Call 740-446-0596 for a registration form. The cost is $25 for individuals and $50 for businesses.

Admission to the Chili Fest is free. Small cups can be purchased to sample each of the contestant’s chili, as well as bowls, when you find your favorite. Can’t wait for the contestants’ chili? The food tent will also have hotdogs and commercial chili for sale. Don’t miss out, as Gallipolis “turns up the heat” at this tasty event! Seewww.visitgallia.com.