Noted as the largest fall festival in Middle Tennessee, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s annual Pumpkinfest will be held Saturday in downtown Franklin.
This will be the 36th year for this popular event, which is presented by Jackson and is expected to attract more than 65,000 visitors of all ages to Main Street.
“Pumpkinfest is a favorite fall tradition for Williamson County residents and visitors from all over,” said Bari Beasley, CEO of the Heritage Foundation. “This family-friendly festival is such an important part of the cultural heritage of Franklin, and we could not be prouder of the offerings we have at this year’s event.”
Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation has been producing iconic street festivals in downtown Franklin, initially as a means of economic vitality for the developing community and now as a way to preserve and share the city’s local cultural heritage. The Heritage Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources.
This year’s Pumpkinfest highlights include:
- Kids Zone produced by Church of the City from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Free)
- Costume Contests
- Revamped costume parade down Main Street
- People Costume Contest at 11:30 a.m. at the Main Stage
- Pet Costume Contest sponsored by Mars Petcare at 2 p.m. at the GRSM Acoustic Corner Stage
- Sister Cities “Great Pumpkin” photo booth and Guess the Weight Contest
- Extreme Pumpkin Carving sponsored by Parks Realty
- Hundreds of craft and food vendors
- Bavarian Bierhaus Beer Garden
- Leiper’s Fork Distillery Whiskey Lounge
- Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens Activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-restoration tours of the main mansion
- Heritage Classroom activities for kids like candle dipping, pool noodle log cabin building and more
- Pumpkin patch photo opportunities
- Presentation about Williamson County Women in History from County Historian Rick Warwick
- Heritage Foundation VIP Member Lounge sponsored by Berry Farms
- Downtown Franklin Rotary Chili Cook-Off
- Live entertainment on multiple stages
- Williamson County High School Battle of the Bands presented by Dark Horse Institute
Niya Moon, Corporate Philanthropy manager from Jackson, said, “We are delighted to return as the presenting sponsor this year for the 36th Annual Pumpkinfest. What a great way to celebrate fall and support the Heritage Foundation as they work to preserve the communities we call home here in Williamson County.”
This year, there will also be a new mobile app to help visitors maximize their experience and easily locate different activities. Soon, the app will be available to download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Parking and shuttle services from Franklin Transit Authority will be available from Church of the City and The Park at Harlinsdale Farm for $1 per person each way. No pets, non-folding strollers, food or drink are allowed on the trolleys.
To register for the people costume contest, pet costume contest or for more information about the festival, visit WilliamsonHeritage.org/Pumpkinfest.
‘Great lineup’ of competitors in chili cookoff
The Downtown Franklin Rotary Club is once again hosting a chili cookoff during Saturday’s Pumpkinfest. The chili cookoff will be held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Landmark Booksellers on Main Street.
“The chili cookoff is a Pumpkinfest tradition,” said Candy Sullivan, co-chair of the event. “We have another great lineup of local restaurants and organizations who will be vying to see who has the best chili in Franklin.”
For just $10, attendees will get samples of a variety of unique chili recipes.
The main stage for Pumpkinfest is being moved this year from the square to Main Street, adjacent to the Downtown Franklin Rotary Club’s space.
With the added traffic this will bring, the club will be selling beer and wine (new this year), hot dogs, brats, chicken fingers, French fries and baked goods until 6 p.m. The event is co-chaired by Sullivan, Tiffany Alday and Steve and Dolly Chandler.