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Historic Downtown Franklin’s 21st  annual Pumpkinfest Saturday, Oct. 27, fills Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenues with all things fall-related–pumpkins, Halloween costumes, activities for children, a full schedule of entertainment, 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
•    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!

Something new: 
Bring an item for the Second Harvest Food Bank—a jar of peanut butter, tuna or other protein item—and get a free trick-or-treat bag. The food drive will be conducted by Second Harvest and the Boy Scouts at several locations in the festival on the two blocks between the Public Square and Five Points. Lots of sponsors, vendors and merchants hand out candy to children in costume throughout the event.

Two stages offer continuous entertainment.
Schedule is as follows:
Five Points Stage (near Starbucks on Main Street)
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – John England & Western Swing
11 a.m. – Franklin School of Performing Arts
Noon to 12:30 – Williamson County Campus/Columbia State Community College
12:45 to 1:45 – TBA
2 p.m. – Franklin School of Performing Arts
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Costume contests, Great Pumpkin Guess the Weight Contest – enter all contests at Five Points stage prior to 3 p.m.
5 to 6 p.m. – Best Band in Town
Old Courthouse Stage
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – TBA
11 a.m. to Noon – Franklin’s Young Fiddlers
Noon to 1 p.m. Tommy Jackson Rocky Top Revue
1 to 2 p.m. Scott Ellis School of Dance
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tommy Jackson Rocky Top Revue
3 to 4 p.m. Scott Ellis School of Dance
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – TBA

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 and they will be offering chili tastings from 11 a.m. until the chili runs out around 5 p.m. Cost is $6 a tray with 2-ounce tastings from each competitor. Tasters get to vote for their favorite chili.
Awards will be given in the categories of Best Chili, Best Booth Design, and The People’s Choice Award.

Here are this year’s teams: Jamison Station, Sol & Red Pony Restaurants, Monell’s at Franklin’s Historic Jail, Thompson’s Station Grill, Jim ‘n Nick’s Barbeque, Southern Land Company, Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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. There will be two moonwalk inflatables, rock slide, obstacle course, ponies, and lots of games. There will be an area for toddlers, “Preschool Park.” 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. Battle Ground Academy and Selkin Laser Center are also sponsors and will be on-hand.

All Things Pumpkin
At the Five Points end of Main Street is the “All Things Pumpkin” area with a stage scheduled with music from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a costume contest from 3 to 5 p.m., and a final music act from 5 to 6 p.m.  Costume contestants may check-in prior to 3:30 p.m. at the All Things Pumpkin tent near Franklin Theatre and pay $1 entry fee.  Contestants are in three categories by age: 0-5 years; 6-12 years and 13 and up. Cash prizes are awarded in each category of $25, $15 and $10 for first, second and third places.
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.  On Fourth Avenue South, just opposite the chili tent, you can take a horse-drawn hayride.

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, Battle Ground Academy, Williamson Medical Center, Selkin Laser Center, the Adam Group, Franklin Tomorrow and the Sister Cities Board of Franklin; and produced by the Heritage Foundation and the Downtown Franklin Association.

    “Pumpkinfest is a great partnership of local organizations and companies that put together a really fun, fall, family-oriented event,” said Downtown Franklin Association president Ed Cagle.

Pumpkinfest is open to the public with free admission. For more information please call 591-8500 or visit