5 Favorite Ohio Pawpaw Festival Attractions

The Pawpaw Festival offers loads of kid-friendly fun.

The Pawpaw Festival offers loads of kid-friendly fun.

The 18th annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival kicks off Friday, September 16 and runs through Sunday, September 18. As you plan your trip to Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio, be sure to check out these 5 must-see Pawpaw Festival activities.

Have you ever tried a pawpaw? No better time to have a taste than the Pawpaw Festival! Not only can you sample a fresh bite of the fruit right off the tree, but you can also try pawpaw in smoothies, ice cream, barbeque sauce, salsa and a host of baked goods. Several food vendors will be at the Festival serving up pawpaw-inspired cuisine, including local favorites Holy Guacamole, Burrito Buggy, Ali Baba’s, Mauvette’s and Chelsea’s Real Food. Plus, a dozen Ohio craft breweries will be offering pawpaw beer. If you haven’t found your favorite way to enjoy a pawpaw at the start of the Festival, you will by the time you leave!

Get ready to celebrate everything pawpaw at this year's Ohio Pawpaw Festival in Albany, Ohio. Photo courtesy of the Ohio Pawpaw Festival.

Get ready to celebrate everything pawpaw at this year’s Ohio Pawpaw Festival in Albany, Ohio. Photo courtesy of the Ohio Pawpaw Festival.

Who grows the best pawpaw? The Festival is filled with tons of contests and competitions such as the Best Pawpaw Competition, the Pawpaw Cook-off and the Pawpaw Eating Contest. Think you have what it takes? Details on registration can be found here. If you’re looking for a different sort of competition, check out the Pawlympics. It will be available throughout the day on Saturday and free for anyone who wants to jump in. All-day recess, anyone?

Bubbles, balloons and bounce houses can all be found at the Festival! The Pawpaw Festival has always been a family-friendly event. Local artists Patti Mitchel and Robert Lockheed will be roaming the festival grounds and entertaining attendees with balloon sculptures. In addition to bubbles and inflatables, other kid-friendly activities include an obstacle course, padded sword construction and pawpaw cooking for kids. Learn what other activities are in store for kids.

Jam out at Pawpaw Fest with Rusted Root! The band is taking stage at the Festival on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. It wouldn’t be a festival in Athens County without other great local and regional acts like The D-Rays, Supernobody, Water Witches, Bright at Night, Steve Free, The Paranormals and many more. With performers on two stages, there’s a lot to see. Plan out all of the performances you’re going to catch over the weekend in advance!

So now you want to grow your own pawpaws… THE place to purchase a pawpaw tree (and to learn how to care for it) is at the Pawpaw Festival. But you can also find many eclectic, handmade items from local artisans in the Festival’s marketplace. From paintings and sculptures to jewelry and textiles, this is the area of the Festival where you’ll find a unique souvenir. Get a sneak peak of the featured vendors!

With all this to do, of course you’ll need to make a weekend out of it. Why not stay in one of our hotels, cabins or B&Bs? Travel safely and we’ll see you in Athens!