Athens’ 19th Annual Pumpkintown is Saturday
Lots to see, do, and experience at PUMPKINTOWN 2022
~ from Friendly City Festivals
If you’re looking for something to do on Saturday, October 8th, look no further than Pumpkintown 2022.
“We have a saying here in Athens that if you can’t find something to see, do, experience, or eat while you’re at Pumpkintown, it’s not our fault,” states Friendly City Festival’s president Meredith Willson.
Pumpkintown has become one of the region’s favorite festivals in the last 19 years with plenty of activities for young and old. The festival hours are 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and are followed by the season finale of Sounds of Summer at 7:00 p.m. at the Market Pavilion Stage.
These activities and more help festival-goes celebrate history, heritage, and culture:
The Scott Crisp Memorial PowWow is dedicated to the memory of Scott Crisp, a beloved committee member of Pumpkintown since its beginnings. The beat of a native drum and the notes of a flute will lead you down to Market Park where you will experience tribal dances, Native American crafts, and the famous Potato Dance!
Another fan favorite is the McMinn Regional Humane Society’s Adopt-a-Thon. The infamous Mutt Strutt kicks off the Doggie Costume Contest at 10:30 a.m. at Market Park with costume winners announced at 12:00 noon. The dog adoptions will be at Market Park and Fuller’s Frame Shop will host cat adoptions and Paw Print Art Activity from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. For more information about the Humane Society visit www.mrhumane.org.
The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum celebrates its 40-year anniversary with the opening of the 35th Annual Quilt Show entitled “Celebrating 40 Years of History.” This award-winning show will feature more than 100 quilts in a variety of categories. Admission is free during Pumpkintown! For more information visit www.livingheritagemuseum.org or contact 423-745-0329.
The crew of the USS Charles R. Ware will be returning to Athens for the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Charles R. Ware Memorial at Veterans Park from October 5-9, 2022. On Friday the 7th, one of the few remaining Dauntless Dive Bombers will be at the McMinn County Airport for viewing by the crew and public from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Dauntless was the plane Lt. Ware – a native of Athens – was flying at the battle of Midway. On Saturday the 8th beginning at 9:30 a.m., there will be a 20th anniversary brick ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. The crew of the USS Charles R. Ware will be in attendance as they were 20 years ago on June 8th. Athens Parks and Recreation Department will be placing 65 new bricks in the veterans walk. The new total of 4,214 bricks makes Athens one of the largest veterans walks in the United States.
Tennessee Wesleyan University will host hundreds on its campus for Homecoming 2022. Check out www.tnwesleyan.edu for a full schedule of activities happening on Pumpkintown weekend.
CASA Corridor of East Tennessee will hold its 12th annual Run for the Child 5K and Awareness Walk. For more information, visit their website: www.casacorridor.org/2022-run-for-the-child or call 423-746-9037.
History buffs and laypersons alike don’t want to miss the popular downtown historical walking tour. Led by The History Honchos – County Mayor John Gentry, Sheriff Joe Guy, and Paul Willson – take a trip back into time through an informative and entertaining journey of Athens the way it was. Highlights include African American business locations, TWU Campus, and The Battle of Athens little-known facts. You can meet up with “The Honchos” at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Washington and Jackson Streets.
Another highlight of Pumpkintown is Pumpkin Plinko. On South Jackson Street, one of the largest Plinko games in the world is set up by the Athens Parks and Recreation Department, where young and old alike roll balls down the street through a maze of pumpkins. The object is to score a perfect 30 to win a big prize! A perfect 30 takes a lot of pumpkin luck – come try yours out!
Be sure to stop by The Arts Center to check out the new construction going on and get your creative juices flowing with pumpkin painting from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or as long as supplies last. Inside The Arts Center is an exhibition entitled “Reminiscence: A Selection of Works by Ethel Stone Carroll” and entries from third through eighth graders in AACA’s Billboard Art Contest. Visual arts exhibits at The Arts Center are always free to the public.
Kanusita Garden Club’s flower show and demonstrations are another don’t-miss activity during the festival. The Club is marking its 75th anniversary with “Celebrating Our Roots – 75 Years and Still Blooming” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In addition to all the above, Pumpkintown will feature local shopping, live entertainment on two stages, and a host of children’s activities. See schedules and stay up to date by following Friendly City Festivals on Facebook.
Pumpkintown is a free-to-the-public production by Friendly City Festivals and a dedicated volunteer committee. The festival is made possible by the following sponsors: The City of Athens, McMinn Tourism Board, VEC Customer Shares, Tennessee Overhill, Tennessee Arts Commission, Citizens National Bank of Sevier County, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, 3 Rivers Radio Group, The Daily Post-Athenian, WCLE-Mix 104.1, WYXI Morning Fax, Athens Kiwanis Club, Simmons Bank, Simmons Wealth Management Group, Starr Regional Medical Center, Mayfield Dairy Farm, DENSO, The Arts Center, Athens Main Street, and Wolfenden Family Pharmacies.