Best Pawpaw Competition

Saturday, Sept. 16
12:15 p.m.

(Winners Announced after 1:15 presentation)

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. 17
11:15 a.m.
(Winners announced after 12:15 presentation)

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. 16
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 their backs, making sure to eat the pulp off of every seed! Sign-up is at the Pawpaw Tent.

Raccoon Creek Slalom

Saturday, Sept. 16
1 p.m.

The Raccoon Creek Partnership is sponsoring a Canoe/Kayak Slalom at Lake Snowden on Saturday, Sept.16, at 1 p.m.  The Slalom is a fun buoy race course, challenging not just speed but a paddler's skills as well.  The slalom is open to canoes and kayaks, both solo and tandem for children and adults. Children under nine must be accompanied by an adult in a boat. Participants can sign up at the Raccoon Creek Partnership booth up until the time of the event.  Canoes and kayaks will be available,  Life jackets will also be provided and are required. 

Brewer's Roundtable & Tasting

Saturday, Sept. 16
3:30 p.m.

The fest will host its second annual roundtable on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Pawpaw Tent, featuring a discussion with various brewers about the beer and process creating it. This is free and open to the public. 

There also will be an optional tasting opportunity. The cost to participate in the tasting is $20, and includes sampling of all the brewers' beer that are on the panel, as well as a Pawpaw Festival logo cup. Ages 21 and over.

The Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive

Saturday, Sept. 16
12-5 p.m.

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Ride & Drive will be hosted by Clean Fuels Ohio and UpGrade Ohio. The UpGrade Athens County Energy Village Tent will register interested drivers at the UpGrade booth, nearest the entrance gate. Participants will sign a release form and coordinate with a local electric car owner from the EV Cruisers Club of Athens County, Ohio to take a test drive around the festival. The Club has been administered and organized by UpGrade Ohio – click here to learn more.

The EV Ride & Drive is part of a larger effort coordinated by Clean Fuels Ohio, and their Drive Electric Ohio initiative, for the Midwest EVOLVE – Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience project. Midwest EVOLVE and its Clean Cities partners (Clean Fuels Ohio) will hold events that provide a hands-on experience to test drive a variety of locally available EVs, which helps consumers and fleets determine the best vehicle(s) and charging options for their personal and/or fleet needs.

Drive Electric Ohio is a statewide initiative of Clean Fuels Ohio to promote the use of electric vehicles and improve access to charging infrastructure.

Why Drive EV?
The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to utilize the cleaner, greener, more renewable electric grid to power transportation. Only grid-rechargeable cars can attain the end goal of zero-emissions and ensure fuel price stability. In addition, plug-in electric cars make an investment in solar panels even more economically compelling.
Learn more at:

Pawpaw Double Nickel Bicycle Ride

Saturday, Sept. 16
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.

2nd Annual Pawpaw 4 Miler and 1 mile fun run/walk

Saturday, Sept. 16
The 2nd Annual Pawpaw 4 Miler and 1 mile fun run/walk will take place in conjunction with the 19th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival that takes place every September at Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio -- the race will be Saturday of the festival, and start 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 info.


Oakley the GreenMan

Oakley the GreenMan will be roving the festival grounds all weekend.





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
The Wildlife Center Naturalist Stormy Gibson
Athens Division of Wildlife Athens County Lindsay Rist  

Ohio Country Fair Tent

Each year the festival's Ohio Country Fair Tent hosts educational workshops on homesteading and sustainable living.  Here's the 2017 schedule of workshops.

Family Care Tent

Our family care tent has moved to an area closer to the Kid's Activities area. Stop by for a safe place to nurse, change a diaper, quiet your child, find support and more.

Ohio’s Hill Country 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.  This year's collaborators include Little Cities of Black Diamonds, Southeastern Ohio History Center, Southeastern Ohio Stargazers, Hocking College -- Natural Resources, Hocking College -- Robbins Crossing, Stuart's Opera House, Buckeye Trail, and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

Expand your horizons in Ohio’s Rising Appalachia!

UpGrade Energy Village

The 3rd year of the UpGrade Energy Village will draw Pawpaw Fest attendees that are eager to take action by supporting local clean energy efforts. The Energy Village tent will feature a large solar array trailer 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 Appalachian Ohio residents to reduce energy use and to make considerations about renewable energy for their homes, businesses, and governmental communities.

Visit the UpGrade Energy Village at the 2017 Ohio Pawpaw Fest and you can expect to find:

Professor Bubblemaker

Professor Bubblemaker Returns! Professor Phineus T. Bubblemaker wil be back with his Marvelous Medicine Show that combines the elements of magic, mentalism, comedy, history, a flea circus and of course lots of bubbles.



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.