Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee’s 23rd annual Pumpkinfest Saturday, Oct. 25, fills Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenues with all things fall-related–pumpkins, Halloween costumes, activities for children, two stages, a chili cook-off, hayrides and fall arts/crafts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Main Street.
Presented by First Tennessee and Publix Supermarkets and produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, the Downtown Franklin Association and the City of Franklin, Pumpkinfest activities include:
-The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off on Fourth Avenue North
-The People’s Church children’s area on Third Avenue South filled with free and fun activities for young children from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-Fall and holiday arts and crafts around the Public Square
-All Things Pumpkin area – a stage at Five Points; Franklin’s Sister City, Carleton Place, Canada, brings down the great pumpkin which will be on display in front of the Franklin Theatre with a chance to guess the weight
-The Leiper’s Fork Carvers will display their professionally carved pumpkins in this area as well!
-“Last Is Lucky” raffle drawing from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Five Points stage. Tickets available until 2 p.m. in front of Franklin Theatre for this exciting raffle in which the last ticket drawn wins $10,000. Tickets are $100 each and limited to 400 tickets sold—so odds are good! All proceeds go toward the Heritage Foundation’s restoration of Franklin Theatre.
-Hayrides on Fourth Avenue South.
Two stages offer continuous entertainment at Five Points (near Starbucks) and on the Public Square. Here’s the line-up:
Five Points Stage (near Starbucks)
10:00-11:00 a.m. Heritage Dixieland
11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Gayle Johnson and Company with Cheryl Chunn and “The Main Stage Cloggers”
12:40-1:40 p.m. Brian Ashley Jones
2:00-2:45 p.m. “Last Is Lucky” Raffle Drawing for Franklin Theatre
3:00-5:00 p.m. Costume Contest
5:00-6;00 p.m. Carolyn Martinm 2008 Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year City Hall Stage
11:00 a.m.-12:p.m. Columbia State Commercial Entertainment Program
12:20-1:20 p.m. Franklin School of Performing Arts
1:40-2:25 p.m. Scott Ellis School of Irish Dance
2:40-3:30 p.m. Tennessee Bluegrass
3:45-4:45 p.m. Tommy Jackson’s “Rocky Top Revue”
5:00-6:00 p.m. Chris Casello Trio
Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-Off
The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off lets the public decide who makes the best chili in town. Their giant tent will be at the intersection of 4th Avenue South and Main Street between Ben & Jerry’s and Chico’s and they will be offering chili tastings from 11 a.m. until the chili runs out around 5 p.m. or until the chili is gone. Cost is $5 a tray with 2-ounce tastings from each competitor. Tasters get to vote for their favorite chili.
The People’s Church
The People’s Church provides a children’s carnival on 3rd Avenue South with lots of fun and free activities for kids from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Franklin City Hall and the Old Courthouse. Bouncy things, face-painting, fashion nails and thumb-print art will be available and of course lots and lots of candy for all.
Around the Public Square
Fall and holiday arts, crafts & gift items fill the Public Square, along with treats from sponsors Publix SuperMarkets, First Tennessee, the Heritage Foundation and Williamson Medical Center. Some of the favorite artists from other downtown festivals, including charcoal portrait artist Bill Logan, will be at work near the monument. There’ll also be a great variety of potters, jewelers, sculptors, woodworkers and other crafters.
Costume contestants may check-in prior to 3:00 p.m. at Five Points Stage and pay $1 entry fee. Contestants are in four categories by age and species: pets are 3:00 to 3:30; humans aged 0-5 years are 3:30 to 4:00; 6-12 years are 4:00 to 4:30 and the contest for ages 13 and up is held at 4:30. Cash prizes are awarded in each category of $25, $15 and $10 for first, second and third places. The costume contest is sponsored by Poochie Couture Pet Sitting Service.
The Great Pumpkin
Franklin’s Sister Cities Board will be showing The Great Pumpkin raised in Franklin’s Sister City of Carleton Place, Canada. The public is invited to buy a $1 guess at the weight of the great gourd. The closest guess wins $100.
Children are invited to paint a pumpkin in this area to take home for $1, sponsored by Posh Parties.
New to Pumpkinfest this year is an exhibition by the Leiper’s Fork Carving Club around the Franklin Theatre. Come see these talented carvers create works of art from the pumpkins raised out a Gentry’s Farm.
On Fourth Avenue South, just opposite the chili tent, you can take a horse-drawn hayride for $1.
Pumpkinfest is sponsored by First Tennessee, Publix Supermarkets, the City of Franklin, The People’s Church, Fox 17, MY30, CW58, Williamson A.M./The Tennessean, Clear Channel Radio, Williamson Medical Center, the Adam Group, Franklin Tomorrow and the Sister Cities Board of Franklin, Poochie Couture; and produced by the Heritage Foundation and the Downtown Franklin Association.
Pumpkinfest is open to the public with free admission. For more information please call 591-8500 or visit www.historicfranklin.com.