Monday, October 10, 2016

The Operation Pumpkin Festival

Image from Operation Pumpkin website
A yearly tradition that my family and I have is to go to the Operation Pumpkin Festival in downtown Hamilton, Ohio. The unique thing about it compared to other local fairs and festivals is that it's held right smack in the middle of downtown Hamilton. My wife likes to go because her candle and cupcake vendors have a booth set up there. I like to go because it's a fall festival. It's a win win for everyone so we headed over last Saturday to check it out.

The festival opens at 9:00 usually but the unfortunate thing about weekend was that is was cold and extremely windy when we went in the morning. So much so that some of the vendors and the rides weren't even open yet due to the wind. In past years, the place has been crazy at 10:00 in the morning but not this year due to the cold and wind. However, the pictures above should give you a general idea of what the festival encompasses. If you look at the top picture, you'll see a monument in the background. That's how far the festival stretches.

Pumpkin carving is one of the draws to the festival. Every year they bring out expert pumpkin carvers to do creative and unusual pumpkins. Their display/workshop in set up right in the middle of one of the main intersections of downtown.

Another major draw is the giant pumpkin weigh-off from the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers (SOGPG for short). Some of these pumpkins can weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds. As I'm writing this, the results aren't available yet but just by the pictures, you can see how enormous these pumpkins are. I was also able to snap a picture of my wife and my son next to one.

A few random pictures. The first is a monument in the middle of the street to Alexander Hamilton, who the city was named after. The other one is a giant box of pumpkins that I took while trying to embrace my artistic side.

All the small businesses such as craft boutiques, markets, and bakeries were open as well. We stopped into the Almond Sisters bakery, which is a place that was featured on the local morning news recently and someplace we wanted to try for a while. As you can see by the display cases, they had pastries and cookies of all kinds available. 

We picked up a pumpkin pastry, which was filled with cream cheese and a very nice pumpkin filling, a red velvet ganache brownie which a red velvet brownie topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips, and a geode, which is a chocolate chip cooke stuffed with a brownie. The pastry was amazing but the other two things were a bit of a let down. We'll definitely be back though to try some of their Christmas offerings.

On the way out of the bakery, I spotted this graffiti mural on the side of a building ...

Someone is obviously a fan of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and drew this fantastic piece of art. I tried to get a picture of it without the glare from the window but this was the best I could do. All in all, despite the cold, windy weather and the absence of some of the vendors due to such, we still had a great time and definitely will be continuing our tradition next year.


  1. Looks like a really cool festival. I'm not a big fan of crowds... but I'll usually make an exception if it involves a good festival. That red velvet ganache brownie looks amazing! That Charlie Brown mural is sweet too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Your welcome. Hamilton is an awesome little city and they do cool things like this all throughout the year.

  2. The cookie just needs to sprout arms to evolve into a Geodude!

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  4. wow...pumpkin pie is very delicious