Rob Dolby, Co Owner of Game Time Collectables, and Tara Schlichter, Co Owner of Pickaway Craft Mall, are working together to host Pumpkin Fest, a pint sized tribute to Pumpkin Show, that will be held for 4 days beginning the 3rd Wednesday of October.
“I felt the same disappointment as everyone else when it was announced Pumpkin Show was cancelled,” says Schlichter. “At first, just at losing the opportunity to go enjoy it, but then I began to think about the income opportunity loss so many small businesses are experiencing in 2020. That certainly hits home.”
Pickaway Craft Mall and Game time share retail space at 2150 North Court Street in Circleville (the old Jim’s Pay and Save).
“It hit me that we have a decent sized lot to work with, and we could do something out here for the community. We have space to host crafters, food vendors, even things for the kids,” Dolby says.
Dolby went immediately to the Health Department for guidelines on running an event. “We expect a fraction of Pumpkin Show traffic but wanted to cover all of our bases. We plan to implement their suggestions.”
Pumpkin Fest will be utilizing both the substantial parking lot space for outdoor vendors and activities, as well as the currently unoccupied space inside the adjacent building (Formerly the Circle Of Light Church).
“When I realized we has access to use the currently empty, but fairly large space next door, I knew we an opportunity we couldn’t pass up”.
As long-time small business owners in the community, Dolby and Schlichter made it a priority to keep set up cost low for all four days.
“We debated what to charge, we wanted it to be entirely affordable for crafters and vendors to do our event. We mostly want to cover utilities, and cost to market.” Dolby adds.
On top of keeping standard price of set up low, they are offering a discount to Churches and Organizations who would normally use Pumpkin Show to raise funds, and additionally, inviting down town businesses to set up free of charge.
“We are missing the celebration of downtown, and the businesses there are losing what is normally a massive amount of traffic at Pumpkin Show. We felt it was right to offer any downtown business an opportunity to be represented free of charge, whether for sales directly or marketing purposes.”
Customers can expect both indoor and outdoor crafters, food booths, and other shopping opportunities. And while rides are ruled out for a variety of reasons, but Pumpkin Fest hopes to bring a good bit of fun for kids as well. If all of that isn’t enough, the mall itself offers over 20,000 square feet of shopping space.
There are three other bonuses according to Schlichter: “Indoor restrooms, close proximity parking, and socially distanced places to sit and eat.”
The event is Wednesday, October 21, Thursday October 22, Friday October 23, and Saturday October 24. It will be open 11am to 8pm all 4 days.
Schlichter adds, “More individuals and groups are hosting replacement events during this time, and I think it’s awesome. I hope families will make a week of visiting the different spots and we can still feel some of the same excitement and joy we get from our community during Pumpkin Show.”
Pumpkin Fest is still accepting food trucks, crafters, and other vendors.
“We are excited about our applications so far, but we have room to do even more,” adds Schlichter. “Especially more food vendors – that’s a favorite for everyone”.
To apply for a space at Pumpkin Fest, you message Pickaway Craft Mall via their Facebook page, or email Rob at [email protected]