Updated Tue, Sep 24, 2013 2:41 pm
The Athens County Fair Board and Weekleyville Pumpkin Farms will host the inaugural Athens Pumpkin Festival at the fairgrounds on Oct. 5.
Fair board member and Weekleyville Pumpkin Farm owner Tom Weekley is organizing the new festival. He said the fair board was wanting to hold an event at the fairgrounds in addition to the county fair, noting that preparations for the new festival have been a year in the making.
“We wanted something different,” Weekley said. He said the event is not your average pumpkin show and focuses on pumpkin-themed contests of skill.
The Athens Pumpkin Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds on West Union Street. Starting at 10 a.m., junior fair clubs will compete in pumpkin contests such as the four-person pumpkin relay race, pumpkin short roll, decorated pumpkin contest and barrel race.
Beginning at 1 p.m., adults and children can compete in a variety of competitions for a chance to win $50. Contests include downhill pumpkin races, pumpkin long roll, pumpkin “hand chunkin” (similar to shot put), pumpkin pie eating contest, and pumpkin seed spitting contest.
The afternoon contests will be divided into adult and youth (17 and under) categories. Weekley said those participating in the contests will be required to purchase a pumpkin from his business at the fairgrounds so that he can control the size of the pumpkins used in the events. He said pumpkins from other vendors will be available for purchase but can’t be used in the games.
In addition to the contests, a large flea market will be held during the festival featuring many pumpkin-themed items. Weekley said the fairgrounds hosted a flea market in the spring, which had a good turnout.
“We’ve had a great response from people,” he said.
The flea market will continue on Oct. 6 at the fairgrounds.
Those interested in participating in the flea market should call the Barn Strollers 4-H Club at 592-5905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be live entertainment at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Concessions at the event will also be pumpkin-themed and will include treats such as pumpkin waffles, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin chili, pie, candy and more. Weekley said there will also be fair food without the pumpkin for those who are interested.
Admission to the Athens Pumpkin Festival is free, but parking is $1 per vehicle.
Weekley said the fair board hopes to attract families and Ohio University students to the affordable event.
“It should be a great fun-filled event with something for everyone,” he said.
For information about the Athens Pumpkin Show, click here or call 662-4302.
Weekleyville Pumpkin Farm is located 4 miles east of Guysville just off Route 50.