Ohio Pawpaw Festival

Date(s) - September 11, 2015 - September 13, 2015
All Day


The 17th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival will take place September 11-13, 2015. We hope you come to join the crowds of happy folks at scenic Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio for 3 days of Pawpaw music, food, contests, art, history, education, sustainable living workshops and activities for the kids!

Friday: 4 pm – midnight
Saturday: 10 am – midnight
Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm

$15/one-day pass; $30/weekend pass; children 12 & under free.
Senior Citizens Discount for guests 60 and over, with proper ID, for admission purchased at the festival gate.

ATTENTION DOG OWNERS: please note there is NO DOG PARK this year; dogs are still welcome within the camping areas.  Only service animals will be permitted on the festival grounds.

jenna evan eating pappaw Pawpaw Tent

The Pawpaw Tent will be the place to be if you’re interested in learning about the pawpaw. Smell, touch, and most importantly taste this wonderful tropical flavored fruit that’s been growing in America for thousands of years. Pawpaw growers from across the country, like Integration Acres and Peterson Pawpaws, will have their best fruit. Taste samples of select varieties, purchase fruit to take home, buy trees to plant and talk with pawpaw researchers and experts. Members of the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association (OPGA) and the PawPaw Foundation will all help answer your pawpaw questions. A full lineup of presentations and activities are planned to discuss pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medicinal uses and other topics related to sustainability.

Upgrade Athens County Energy Village

The UpGrade Energy Village will feature a wide array of opportunities for Pawpaw-goers to plug-in to the clean energy movement in Southeast Ohio. This year our work will raise the energy IQ of Athens County in an effort to build a community run by top-notch efficiency and renewable energy generation.

Our collaboration will focus on the opportunities offered to Athens County residents to reduce energy use and make the UpGrade in an effort to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP). As one of 50 competing communities across the country, Athens County can win $5 million by drastically reducing energy usage, building innovative coalitions with like-minded partners, and creating energy projects that can replicated across the country. To win, we need everyone to participate!

As you stroll through the UpGrade Energy Village here’s what you can expect to find:

  • Demonstration tables on aggregation, the GUEP, free home energy assessments and more!
  • Hop on the express rail to energy independence with the solar electric tractor ride
  • Electric Vehicle ride-n-drive to showcase the birth of the EV Riders club in Athens County
  • Meet Captain UpGrade – Snap a picture with our local energy champion!
  • Energy education activities for the kids, how-to make the UpGrade for the adults

Throughout the weekend the village will feature a panel of local energy pioneers who will teach us about the boots-on-the-ground work: from weatherizing our homes to building a local solar farm!

Click here for the complete schedule.

Schedule of Events: 

Best Pawpaw Competition

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015

The Best Pawpaw Competition is the annual event that recognizes the many nuances of pawpaw flavors and characteristics abounding in select and “wild” pawpaw varieties. How does one talk about and describe this delicate flavor? What makes this a good pawpaw? What makes this a bad pawpaw? This year’s event will include plaques and cash prizes – $100 for first prize, $75 for 2nd prize and $50 for 3rd prize, plus bragging rights. $50 also will be awarded to the largest pawpaw. Click here for full details.

Pawpaw Cook-off

Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015
11 a.m.

Prepared dishes must be delivered to the pop-up tent just outside of the Pawpaw Tent from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Sunday. You will need to have three BITE-SIZED samples available for judging by 10:45 a.m. The rest of the prepared dish will be sampled by the crowd.  Entrants in the Sauces/Condiments category are encouraged to provide a small sample containing just the sauce to be judged when they enter the sample served in combination with other foods. Click here for full details.

pawpaweatingcontestPawpaw Eating Contest

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
5 p.m.
Main Stage

Don’t miss this festival spectacle!  Every year, ten pawpaw fanatics compete by slurping pawpaw pulp with hands behind the back, making sure to eat the pulp off of every seed! Sign-up is at the Pawpaw Tent.

Pawpaw Double Nickel Bicycle Ride

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Start any time from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

This 55-mile road ride starts and ends at the fest, taking you from Albany on a circle tour around Zaleski State Forest. Enjoy challenging climbs, ridgetop views and sweet downhills, all along the Raccoon Creek Watershed. A rest stop awaits you at the halfway point. There is also a shorter 20-mile loop option.

On-site rider registration will be at the festival from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – get started on the ride any time during those hours. The rest stop will be set up until 2 p.m.

The self-guided, self-paced ride is included in the price of the festival admission fee, and includes a map of the ride, marked turns on the roads and the aid station.

Ohio Country Fair Tent

Each year the festival’s Ohio Country Fair Tent hosts educational workshops on homesteading/sustainable living. This year’s topics include sustainable energy, storytelling, fermentation, beekeeping, landscaping, tai chi, home brewing and LOTS more. Click here for the complete schedule.

Baby Changing/Nursing Tent

The Le Leche League and the Athens Birth Circle will be sponsoring a baby changing/nursing tent this year.

Pawpaw Gauntlet Obstacle Course

A two-person team race through a maze of challenging obstacles, will test your strength, agility, intellect, determination, and cooperative skills. Can you sprint, climb, vault, swing, scurry, vault, carry, jump, throw, dodge, and think on your feet? Many will try, but only two will be Pawpaw Gauntlet Masters. This obstacle course sprint features over 20 obstacles in less then 1 mile.

Ohio’s Hill County Heritage Area

Heritage Tent

The heritage tent will be shared with following organizations:

  • Athens County Historical Society & Museum
  • Buckeye Trail Association
  • Burr Oak State Park
  • Friends of Ohio Barns
  • Little Cities of Black Diamond
  • Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area
  • Southeastern Ohio Astronomical Society
  • Wayne National Forest

Schedule of activities:

Coming soon…

pawpawopenBalloon Fun

Patty Mitchell & Robert Lockheed create amazing things out of balloons! They will be roving the festival grounds on Friday and Saturday from 4 – 7 p.m.

Horsedrawn Wagon Rides

John Hutchison of Albany will take his horse drawn wagon on rides around scenic Lake Snowden on Friday from 5 – 9 p.m., Saturday from 4 – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hocking Woods Nature Center Snake Tent

Dave Sagan will have his collection of snakes and other species on display (and some for touching!) throughout the weekend. Weather dependent – temperatures unfavorable to snakes cancels.

Atlatl Throwing & Competition

There will be family fun all day with the International Atlatl Association’s teaching and throwing area. Learn about this ancient device and how to throw it.

Antique Pedal Cars for Kids

Your kids won’t want to miss this!

East of the River Shawnee Tribe

Regional Native Americans will complement the festival with traditional storytelling, drumming and singing, talks on native medicine and American Indian wisdom, plus demonstrations on flintknapping, fire starting, and many other native survival skills.

The East of the River Shawnee Tribe, out of Greenville, Ohio, are Shawnee by blood, traditionalists by choice. They gather multiple times a year to hold sacred ceremonies and councils. Their culture and traditions are of great importance, and they work hard to teach not only their youth but the public and any with a good heart and good mind who wish to learn. They are proud to carry the ways of their ancestors into this modern age with dignity, balance and respect for all. Click here for the complete schedule.


Lake Snowden