Pumpkin Festival rolls into Barnesville this week

A PAST King Pumpkin is shown in downtown Barnesville.

BARNESVILLE — Everything pumpkin will be celebrated in Barnesville when the Pumpkin Festival rolls into the village this week.

The 54th annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, slated Sept. 21-24 in downtown Barnesville, will feature its famous King Pumpkin weigh-in contest from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Main and Chestnut streets.

The grower of the heaviest pumpkin will get paid $2 per pound. Last year’s winning pumpkin weighed 1,739 pounds and was grown by Todd and Donna Skinner.

The King Pumpkin will be auctioned off at 5 p.m. Saturday. Last year’s pumpkin was purchased by a group of people and businesses for $5,000.

The festival also features a parade, Pumpkin Royalty contest for children, a car show, 5K Run/Walk, contests, vendors, carnival rides, food and many other activities.

Other highlights of the festival include a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest at 5 p.m. Thursday on the Pumpkin Stage. The official opening of the fest is at 5 p.m. Thursday and also includes the naming of the queen, princess and mini miss, along with the presentation of other trophies. The opening ribbon-cutting ceremony will feature the family of the late Jim Cook, a longtime festival committee member, according to the Belmont County Tourism Council.

On Friday, the Barnesville Depot will host a specialty crafts sale, Spirit of America miniature train rides and food from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

At 1:45p.m. Saturday, the Giant Pumpkin Parade will start at the Barnesville High School parking lot and travel west to Main Street and then onto Chestnut Street. The parade includes a variety of floats, marching bands, farm equipment, horses and the new pumpkin royalty.

The parade’s grand marshal is scheduled to be Eugene “Doc” Householder, a longtime festival committee member and former Belmont County Tourism Council director.