22nd Annual PumpkinFest rolls into action Saturday, Oct. 20


The Town of Franklin is gearing up for the 22nd Annual PumpkinFest to be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has grown to be Western North Carolina’s premier autumn festival.  

The centerpiece event of PumpkinFest is the “World Famous Pumpkin Roll” sponsored by The Factory.  No, that is not something to eat, although those will be available from food vendors. It is literally a contest to see who can roll a pumpkin the greatest distance down Phillips Street and vie for bragging rights and the $100 grand prize.  Last year’s Pumpkin Roll winner rolled 985 feet!

Sign up for the Pumpkin Roll is from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with the actual “roll” from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Pumpkins will be available for purchase at the event or bring your own.

Other highlights of the day include a new pumpkin decorating/carving contest, costume parade & contest, pumpkin pie eating contest, along with more than 90 vendors featuring arts & crafts, fabulous festival food, and more.

Downtown merchants get in on the fun as well as little ones can enjoy treats with merchants from 3 to 4 p.m.

Great family fun

PumpkinFest is all about kids and families and this year will be no different.  There will be two Kid’s Zones with free inflatable slides, bounce houses and more.  These areas will be located at each end of Main Street.  

Entertainment is also a large part of the event.  This year PumpkinFest welcomes the Chris Clark Bicycle Stunt Show.  Over the past decade professional stunt cyclist Chris Clark has competed around the world and entertained thousands at events like the Gravity Games, the Vans Warped Tour, New York’s Times Square Parade and even the Olympic Games. 

Clark will perform two 30-minute shows and each is a breathtaking display of balance and agility as Clark maneuvers his bike and body over his custom built ramps and obstacles, displaying the skills he has acquired in his years of national and international competitive experience. He even gets the audience involved by including volunteers from the crowd as part of the show.

Following the show, audience members will have the opportunity to meet Chris, get free autographs, and enter to win a free bike, courtesy of Schwinn, Chris Clark and the Town of Franklin.

Other family fun includes free pony rides, face painting, free kids activities at many vendor booths and more.

General information

Again this year, Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic as PumpkinFest literally fills the streets.  Main Street will be closed from the bottom of Town Hill.  Signs will be posted and traffic will be routed behind Angel Medical Center back to Church Street.

To alleviate parking issues, the Town of Franklin is again working with Macon Transit to provide free shuttle rides from Franklin High School.  The shuttles will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will take visitors to and from the festival in 15 minute intervals.  

“The Town of Franklin appreciates the cooperation of County Manager Derek Roland and the staff of Macon Transit in providing this great service for those attending this year’s event,” said Town Manager Summer Woodard.  

According to Mayor Bob Scott, while PumpkinFest is held in downtown, its economic impact is felt far beyond this “Restaurants, motels, and numerous other businesses all see increased sales because of this festival. The town staff also works hard to grow the festival each year bringing new people to discover our wonderful town.”  

“The Town appreciates our local businesses and groups stepping forward to assist in sponsoring attractions at PumpinFest.  The Factory has for many years sponsored the Pumpkin Roll and Biltmore Church is again providing one of the inflatables areas for the kids,” said Mayor Bob Scott. “We also thank Chris Clark and Schwinn for working with the Town of Franklin to provide a free bike giveaway.” 

PumpkinFest is sponsored by the Town of Franklin.  For more information on the festivities visit us online at TownofFranklinNC.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/FranklinNCEvents or call Franklin Town Hall at (828) 524-2516.