2004 Circleville Pumpkin Show

by Diana Barnum Correspondent

(Left to right) Tammy Bono (San Jose, CA), Sandy Jones (Mentor, OH), and Anne Smith (Columbus, OH). All three visitors are checking out the bagged pumpkins and gourds on display in the center area by the Pumpkin Patch Farm Market of Circleville.

This year’s winning giant pumpkin at the Circleville Pumpkin Show weighed in at a record 1,353 pounds. The grower, Dr. Robert Liggett of Circleville, OH, who was the winner two years ago with a 935-pounder, won $2,000 for his 2004 entry.
Dr. Liggett shared some of his methods used for growing such a large pumpkin that he learned from his friend, John Pontius.
First you need to use molasses on the pumpkin patch in its early days. This attracts worms that make air pockets for roots. Then feed the pumpkins daily, just as you feed yourself. Automated watering systems come in handy, especially on hot summer days.
One of Liggett’s pumpkins also placed Third this year, weighing in at 1,069 pounds. The Second Place winner was Ken Speakman, also of Circleville, OH with a 1,092-pounder.

Season’s bounty in the center of the street. Winners are marked with black marker, like the 1069.5-pounder.

Fun Facts About This Annual Event
Established in 1903, the Circleville Pumpkin Show became a non-profit corporation in 1946. It is entirely self-supporting, with profits used for the betterment of the citizens, and bears the motto, “The Greatest Free Show On Earth.”

The Star Burst he’s holding is also known as a UFO. “This year was a great season,” Don Gose said. “We were worried with early rains, but everything turned out great.” He joked that when people grow pumpkins over 300 pounds, “it’s not a hobby. It’s an obsession.” Selling at this event for 32 years, he also added, “Harvest decorating rivals Christmas decorating now.”

In addition to pumpkin competitions, there are over 100,000 pounds of squash, gourds and pumpkins on display. There is 25-30 amusement rides, 40 floats, 50 bands, parades and 300 vendors (food, craft and games) - all in the streets, made possible with the help of about 250 volunteers on 20 different committees.
Around 23,000 pumpkin pies are sold during the 4-day show. More than 100,000 pumpkin donuts are sold at the event.

Roger also won Best Overall Display 2004. His bountiful, colorful display shows why.

Every year, Lindsey’s Bakery makes a giant pumpkin pie and displays it in their bakery on West Main Street. The pie measures 6-feet in diameter and weighs over 400 pounds.
For more information contact The Circleville Pumpkin Show, 159 East Franklin Street, Circleville, OH 43113 or call: 740-474-7000 (ph) or visit their website at: www.pumpkinshow.com.