159 E. Franklin St.,
Circleville, OH 43113
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
A cool crisp day. It was forecasted to be a high of 50. We drove past the main drag where most people were parking. Parking was offered on side streets and alleys; but we turned around and parked on the main drag less than a block away.
Stan Summers, Rotarian for the last 9 years.
Circleville is a town of about 13,400 people and in a county of about 55,000 people. Circleville Pumpkin show has been going on for years, and years, and years. This is Ohio’s greatest free show. We sell pumpkin chili here to save money to help the community the proceeds go to fund our women’s shelter, and YMCA scholarships for kids. We have the world’s greatest pumpkin chili. This money goes back into our community to help the people of Pickaway county and around the world. We recently finished a water project (building water wells) in Guatemala. Rotary is a global organization and we are just a small part of it. We are a small clog in a big chain.
Sidebar: The show is free; but the parking is not. We paid $10 to park.
It looks like you are advertising some type of burger. Tell me about it.
The pumpkin burger is like a sloppy joe; but it has different pumpkin spices in it and a pumpkin mix. It is not too overwhelming, it is good.
Are you saying its good because you work her, or are you saying it is good because it is good?
Last year when I heard about the pumpkin burger, I thought that was going to be gross. I tried it and it was good. It is world famous and it has been around since 1968.
Does anyone want to add anything?
This is the Circleville band booster’s fundraiser for the year. We use the funds to help with summer staff, uniforms, and competition fees and basically, anything that the kids need for the band that the school is not able to provide. It is important that people come down and support us and get the pumpkin burgers. Deca was a work study program who originated the pumpkin burger recipe. We were able to take it over as the band boosters. It is a great fund raiser for us every year.
Sidebar: I brought along Tammy Barry of (TK Barry close to home) to taste test. Tammy is willing to try many foods that I refuse to try. We brought along Tammy to taste test like Mikey on the Life commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiCIP6tQwz0 But unlike Mikey, Tammy likes a lot of stuff that I don’t like.
Tammy Barry: It is really good.
Tell me about what you are doing.
I’m making pumpkin waffles. We make them from scratch. We start off with a home-made batter, then deep fry them up fresh. We sell them all day long. We have non-stop lines. We just try to keep up with the production.
How long have you been doing this?
My family has been doing this for 3 generations.
It has been a long-time tradition for families to come to the Pumpkin show and try the pumpkin waffles.
What do you think about the pumpkin waffle Tammy?
It’s pretty good. It is not a strong taste of pumpkin. It tastes about the same as the regular waffle.
Sidebar: I tried the pumpkin waffle also. I agree with Tammy. I could not taste the difference between the pumpkin waffle and the regular waffle.
There is more to do than eat.
The size of the prize pumpkins is amazing. This year the winners were: Mark Litz (1,607 pounds), Bob Brown (1,548 pounds), and Mark Hoffhine (1,331.5 pounds).
What’s your name?
What’s your claim to fame?
Best pumpkin ice cream in the land at the greatest free show on earth.
Tell me a little bit about the boosters.
This helps fund various athletic expenses and band related costs for our program. All dollars help us to not only sustain the program; but, get uniforms and grow the program. It is great to get community involvement. It is also bringing people in to help volunteer. It is a great cause.
Tammy you just had some pumpkin ice cream, what do you think?
The pumpkin ice cream is delicious. It has a good flavor. It is just right.
Would you get it again?
Most definitely. For $4 it is worth it.
What are you eating?
Miniature pumpkin donuts. They were straight out of the grease.
Would you buy them again?
I tried a pumpkin burger for the first time several years ago. It still tastes the same. Great!
Does it have an after taste of any kind?
Yes, a little salty, but it is still good. It has its own unique taste.
If I come back next year, I would get the burger again. Make sure you bring Tammy Barry to the pumpkin show with you. She is adventurous. I think she tried almost everything here.
Tammy you tried a bunch of stuff. What are your parting thoughts on the festival? What would you get again?
I think it is a good festival. The pumpkin burger was out of sight. I would get that again. The pumpkin ice cream was wonderful. The waffle was ok, just tasted like a regular Belgian waffle with some sugar on it. I would pass on the pumpkin chili.
Nobody mentioned the donuts.
The donuts were good; but you must get them when they are hot. I don’t know if they would taste as good if they were cold.
I agree with Marilyn Dawkins and to add to what she said the pumpkin flavor for the donuts.
I would come back again for the miniature donuts.
Sidebar: I decided to try the pumpkin burger. I didn’t taste pumpkin. I just tasted a salty aftertaste. I did think it was good, and I would get it again.
I think this festival is good for families. Besides good food, they have rides and games you can play. If you don’t ride, you can have fun eating or playing games. The parking is close. You can just about stretch your leg out and you are at the festival.
The cost of parking was consistently $10. We were able to park at Hardees. It appears as if the local businesses and schools are closed. We arrived late morning and stayed a few hours. It seems like there were a lot of middle school and high school aged young people walking around.
I was surprised by the number of size and the number of rides. I thought there might be a few kiddie rides, a few food trucks, and a few pumpkin vendors. The festival occupies a much bigger space than I thought. I would have liked to try a regular pumpkin donut from the bakery. The line was WAY too long; therefore, we didn’t purchase a regular pumpkin donut. I’m glad I brought Tammy. If you bring a Mikey, you get to taste a bite of everything. The food cost is reasonable for a festival. I think part of the reason the food is reasonable is because we tried to support the boosters.