Circleville celebrates its centennial pumpkin show this week. Some of the main attractions are the half-ton pumpkins, the enormous pumpkin pie and of course the pumpkin queens. The yearly festival, though, is more than just a piece of pumpkin pie; it's an economic boost for local businesses.
Five-hundred-thousand people are expected to stroll through downtown Circleville this week for the 100th annual pumpkin show. Although there are a variety of booths offering crafts, food and games, many people will shop the local businesses. Circleville Mayor Gene Droste said business owners look forward to this time of year.
"I was talking to some of the retail stores here and they are selling a lot. And they business has been very good," Droste said.
At Treasure Isle, Teri Dumm rings up the last customer in what is to be expected the first of many long lines. Dumm and her husband own three gift shops in Circleville.
"About how many people do think come through here? Oh, gosh, I'd hate to even guess. You've been here for quite a while; kind of walking around it's hard to get to us. They start in door on one side and just kind of continue to loop all day," Dumm said.
While some businesses mark Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday season, it's the pumpkin show for Dumm's stores.
"It's a huge part of our entire year. These four days of pumpkin show make up a very large part of our year sales wise. And of course from here on and through the end of the holidays we're very busy," Dumm said.
Teri Dumm extends her hours during the pumpkin festival. Block Shoe Store is a 76-year-old family-owned business. And like Treasure Isle, it also considers the pumpkin show one of its best money-making events of year. Store owner Harry Rubin said the hard-to-find brands in his shop attracts a lot of repeat customers during the festival.
"Normally pumpkin show is one of our best weeks of the year. In fact, years ago when I was a little younger I used to stay open until 10:30, 11 o'clock at night. But now that I'm not, I don't. But it's still a very, very good week for us," Rubin said.
It's not just the long-standing stores that hope to take advantage of the pumpkin show. Crystal Schooley runs Gi-Gi's New Again Consignments, and is experiencing her first festival as a business owner. Schooley said veteran store owners gave her advice about what to expect as far as the crowd.
"Revenue wise I hope that it does really well. So, and like I said, it's our first year, so we don't really know what to expect," Schooley said.
The Circleville Pumpkin show runs through Saturday night.