COVID-19 Press Release

July 15, 2020


Circleville, Ohio - Fall in Ohio traditionally means one of the Nation's largest and oldest pumpkin festivals. It is a tradition dating back to 1903 and only three times during the World Wars has it ever stopped. After much discussion and serious consideration the Board of Trustees of the Circleville Pumpkin Show have voted to cancel the 2020 Circleville Pumpkin Show due to the coronavirus pandemic protection orders for a Responsible RestartOhio which required continued closures of festivals and the safety requirements for, mass gatherings and social distancing. It was a very difficult and emotional decision but with nearly 400,000 people visiting each year and with vendors, artists, entertainers and guests coming from all over the United States filling nine blocks of downtown Circleville there was little choice as the Board of Trustees did not feel they could insure everyone's safety at the festival.

Vice-President Barry Keller said the decision was one of the biggest challenges he has faced since being elected 25 years ago to lead the festival. "I know that the Board made the right decision for the community but it will be a challenge for many of the civic, fraternal, school and church groups who fund their charitable activities from their Pumpkin Show booths to find different funding sources and the loss of revenue to the local businesses from the many visitors the Pumpkin Show brings to our community after the pandemic closures many of them have endured will be difficult for them."

We invite you to mark your calendar for the 2021 Circleville Pumpkin Show which will take place October 20 through 23, 2021 and plan to join us for the "Greatest Free Show on Earth" - The Circleville Pumpkin Show.

The Circleville Pumpkin Show dates to the turn of the 20th century and is credited as the idea of then Mayor George Haswell. It was in 1903 when Mayor Haswell organized a small display in front of the Waterworks office on West Main Street. His original idea was to provide an opportunity for farmers to come to town, besides their annual trip to pay their taxes, to exhibit their produce since there was no county fair at the time. That first occasion occupied 30 feet of table space along the dusty unpaved street.

For more information on the Circleville Pumpkin Show please call 740-474-7000 or go to our website at