2016 Renewable Energy Regatta

Saturday, Sept. 17
12-5 p.m.

Design, build and operate a boat that uses nothing but solar, wind, and/or muscle power in any desired combination. Build for speed, endurance and maneuverability using no combustion engines or energy storage on board. Teams are encouraged to apply, but individuals are also welcome. Cash prizes! Slalom Race: $1,500 prize; Speed Race: $1,000 prize; Remote-controlled Race: $500 prize. Click here for full details. Register by Sept. 1 at UpGradeAthens.org/2016RenewableEnergyRegatta.

The Inaugural Pawpaw 4 Miler

Saturday, Sept. 17
9 a.m.

The Inaugural Pawpaw 4 Miler and 1 mile fun run/walk will take place the Saturday of the festival, September 17, and starts at 9 a.m.

The Pawpaw 4 Miler is a classic cross country style race run on a mixture of grass, trails, and gravel surfaces, with a few fun obstacles along the route like hay bale jumps! Whether you are in it to run fast, or to simply enjoy the scenic Southeastern Ohio park, this race will be a great event for all levels, including a 1 mile fun run/walk for children, families, or those who just want to take it easy.

Click here for more information and to register. Click here to visit the event Facebook page.

World’s Largest Chateau de Cardboard

Sat., Sept. 17 & Sun., Sept. 18

Be a part of setting two world records by helping to build Chateau de Cardboard, the world’s largest cardboard structure.  Festivities begin at 10 am with all volunteers and people of all ages welcome.  Kids'painting will be from 3 - 5 pm; local artists welcome.  “Storming” the Chateau will be at 11 am on Sunday. Sponsored by Ohio University Campus Recycling to encourage recycling, community involvement, and to just have fun.  



Saturday, Sept. 17
This new event will combine elements of the New World Games and strength competitions throughout the day and evening on Saturday. These games promote healthy competition and the opportunity for anyone to jump in and participate. Think perpetual RECESS! The second half of the day will include a scheduled game of Boffer Capture the Flag and various strength competitions. Click here for more details and full schedule.

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.  Click here to see the schedule.

Pawpaw Double Nickel Bicycle Ride

Saturday, Sept. 17
Hosted by Athens Bicycle
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.

Best Pawpaw Competition

Saturday, Sept. 17
12:15 p.m.

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 more info.

Pawpaw Cook-off

Sunday, Sept. 18
11:15 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 more info.

Pawpaw Eating Contest

Saturday, Sept. 17
5:30 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.

Pollinator Tent

The Pollinator Tent is sponsored by Ohio Sierra Club and Wild ones Ohio. We offer pollinator people who educate and inform about the natural world. This tent is appropriate for all ages and we hope you will join us.

See the schedule of events to identify the talks that you would like to attend. Birding at 7 a.m. Sunday with Stefan Gleissberg (for those staying at Lake Snowden) and a naturalist pollinator tour for kids at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday with Rural Action. We will help you consider pollinators in your gardening, farming and learn about many local, state and national initiatives.


Athens Soil & Water Education CoordinatorTeresa Caldwell
Bird ConservationStefan Gleissberg
Butterfly Ridge Conservation CenterChris Kline
Columbus Wild Ones, President, Cecelia Jokerst
Highbanks Metro ParkNaturalist, Craig Biegler 
Master Gardeners of Athens County- Zella Nisley
Monarch WatchRegional Trainer, Sarah Dalton
National Wildlife FederationCertified Wildlife Ambassador, Barbara Velez Barbosa
Natives in Harmony Urban & Suburban Designer, Brandon Parks
The Ohio State University Bees Lab, Sharon Treaster
The Ohio State University Bats of Ohio, Ronnie Wasmuth
The Ohio State University Entomologist & Photographer- Dragon Flies, MaLisa Spring
Petition for Wayne National Forest Loraine McCosker
Sierra Club, Forest & Public Lands Dave Ackerman
Shawnee State Park Nature CenterNaturalist, Jenny Richards
Wood & Stone Erik Peterson & Steve Peters

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 to see the schedule.

Baby Changing/Nursing Tent

The Le Leche League and the Athens Birth Circle will be sponsoring a baby changing/nursing tent this year. The Womens Infants and Childrens program will be there to offer family nutrition information and more! They will be in the tent offering informational hours on Saturday 3-4 p.m. and Sunday 12-2 p.m.

Ohio’s Hill County Heritage Area

As the Ohio landscape changes from Midwest farmlands to Appalachian foothills, so do the opportunities for exploration and learning. The Winding Road is a compilation of active, authentic experiences in Ohio’s Rising Appalachia that are anything but typical. With an emphasis on “guided” and “small scale”, the cultural story is accented by emerging arts, local foods, and outdoor recreation. Unique exploration of off-the-beaten path destinations await you on these experiences and in real time.

Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area invites you to stop by the tent to experience some of the unique treasurers found along the Winding Road.  There will be demonstrations and presentations on various topics covering arts, local foods and more.

Expand your horizons in Ohio’s Rising Appalachia!

UpGrade Energy Village

The 2nd year of the UpGrade Energy Village will inspire Pawpaw Fest attendees to envision a robust, sustainable energy future for Appalachia Ohio and throughout the entire state. The Energy Village tent will highlight clean energy innovations, interactive exhibits, and opportunities for fest-goers to tap into an emerging local energy movement.

Our collaboration with other organizations, vendors, and entrepreneurs will focus on the opportunities offered to Athens County residents to reduce energy use and make substantial UpGrades in an effort to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP). www.guep.org  

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 be replicated across the country. To win, we need everyone to participate! 

Visit the UpGrade Energy Village at the 2016 Ohio Pawpaw Fest and you can expect to find:

Balloon 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.

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 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.