25th Annual PumpkinFest set to roll Saturday in downtown Franklin


The Town of Franklin’s 25th Annual PumpkinFest, is a go for Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the center of downtown Franklin. Town officials and staff will welcome the public back for one of the most popular events in Western North Carolina. 

“Festival goers will see a few changes this year to the event as we have implemented some safety precautions due to the continued of the threat of Covid,” said Town Manager Amie Owens. “The Town of Franklin is allowing for more social distancing room between the nearly 60 vendors that are scheduled show their wares,” said Owens.  “All changes were made in consideration of everyone having a safe and great time at the event.”

One of the highlights of PumpkinFest, is the “World Famous Pumpkin Roll,” a contest to see who can roll a pumpkin the greatest distance to claim bragging rights, and win $100 for the longest roll. The 2019 Pumpkinfest saw more than 700 pumpkins rolled down the hill locally known as “Frog Town.” With the 2020 event being called off due to COVID-19 restrictions, the hope for the 2021 festival is that the number will be even larger. 

Sign up for the Pumpkin Roll is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the actual “roll” from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Bring your own or purchase a pumpkin at the registration area.  A limited quantity of pumpkins will be available for sale.

Other highlights of the day include a costume parade and contest at 1 p.m.

Participating downtown merchants will have treats for children, from 3 p.m. to 4  p.m.

“PumpkinFest is all about children and families,” said Franklin Mayor, Bob Scott. “This year will be no different. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the festival, which has drawn national attention.”

Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic as PumpkinFest covers downtown Franklin. Main Street will be closed at the bottom of Town Hill. Signage will be posted, and traffic will be detoured behind Angel Medical Center, back to Church Street and the downtown area. 

“It is delightful to be able to hold PumpkinFest this year. The Town of Franklin staff has worked to make the festival safe and enjoyable. After a tough year, it will not be disappointing,” Scott said.  

“The town values our local business community in stepping forward to assist in cosponsoring PumpkinFest.  The Factory, Angel Medical Center and Beasley Flooring Products are corporate sponsors this year,” Scott said. 

PumpkinFest goes on rain or shine. For more information on the festivities visit TownofFranklinNC.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/FranklinNCEvents or call Franklin Town Hall at (828) 524-2516.