30th Annual Pumpkinfest

One of the community’s favorite street festivals turns 30 this year. On Saturday, Oct. 26, Main Street will host thousands of guests for the annual Pumpkinfest event, taking place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout five blocks in Historic Downtown Franklin’s core.

Presented by Bank of America, the festival includes stages at both Five Points and the Public Square that will feature all-day music for attendees, the yearly costume contest, a chili cook-off, and rows of arts and crafts booths.

In addition, the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA) has asked merchants to decorate their windows and doors with one-of-a-kind scarecrows to complement the season’s spirit. Leading up to Pumpkinfest, the public is encouraged to vote on its favorite scarecrow through the DFA social media channels. To learn more about the scarecrow contest, go here.

Other activities of this year’s Pumpkinfest include:

  • More than 75 arts and crafts booths will feature handcrafted fall and holiday items. Booths will be set up and open from the Public Square and East Main Street to First Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Children’s activities will include pumpkin painting, free games with small prizes offered by several local non-profits, inflatables, pony rides and a petting zoo, games and more.
  • Two stages will offer continuous entertainment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off will feature 12 teams competing in the 11th annual contest. A $10 ticket includes 12 samples from local teams. The tent is at Third Avenue South, between City Hall and the Courthouse, and they’ll be serving from 11 a.m. to about 3 p.m. or as long as the chili lasts.
  • Children, adults and even pets can compete in five categories during the annual costume contest on the Public Square. The categories are: pets; children, ages 0-2; 3-5; 6-11 and 12+. The entry fee is $2, and sign-up is next to the stage in front of City Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a maximum of 50 contestants in each category. Contestants must be entered and present at the stage on the Public Square by 3 p.m. to participate. Competition starts at 3 p.m. and concludes by 4 p.m.
  • For some spooky fun, tours of downtown Franklin’s two historic cemeteries on North Margin Street (two blocks from Main Street) will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. In “Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones,” costumed actors relay fascinating stories of the cemeteries’ inhabitants. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up, and $5 for ages 7 to 13. Tickets may be purchased at www.franklinonfoot.com, at the Heritage Foundation office at 134 Second Avenue North or at the gate the night of the event.

Now in its 30th year, the annual October event is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association.

Pumpkinfest is presented by Bank of America, Waste Management, the City of Franklin, Williamson Medical Center, Vanderbilt, Fox 17, Williamson A.M./The Tennessean, and Clear Channel Radio.

Pumpkinfest is a free event, except for special activities as noted. For more information please call 615-591-8500.