About the Festival

paw paw fest

The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is a fun-filled, educational community event celebrating one of America’s largest native tree fruits, the pawpaw (Asimina triloba). This three-day event highlights the rich history and future possibilities of the pawpaw through delectable foods, workshops & presentations, live music & entertainment, a community marketplace, kids’ activities and more.

Special events at the festival include competitions for the best pawpaw, best pawpaw-related work of art, a pawpaw cook-off and the ever-popular pawpaw-eating contest. A full line-up of presentations and activities cover pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medical use and other topics related to sustainability.

Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area serves as the festival’s financial sponsor.  The organization is dedicated to the identification, protection and appropriate development of the natural, cultural, recreational and economic resources that make up Appalachian Ohio to enhance the quality of life of the region’s residents and to welcome visitors to experience the area’s rich heritage, natural beauty and traditions.

Contact Us

If you’d like to contact us with questions or comments, please email pawpawfest@gmail.com.

How To Get To The Festival

The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is held at Lake Snowden near Albany, which is located about six miles west of Athens on US 50/SR 32. It is about 2 hours from Columbus, 3 hours from Cincinnati and 4 hours from Cleveland.

Traveling from the north
Take US 33 south into Athens. As you approach Athens, stay on US 33 , which merges with the bypass of US 50 W/SR 32 W. Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the south
Take US 33 heading northwest toward Athens. As you enter Athens, look for signs for US 50 W/SR 32 W. There will be a BP gas station on the right, and another gas station on the left. Turn left here on Albany Road, which will put you on US 50 W/SR 32 W. Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the east
Follow US 50/SR 32, heading west toward Athens. As you enter Athens, you will get on the bypass around the city (US 33/US 50 W/SR 32 W). Follow US 50 W/SR 32 W heading toward Albany. Look for signs for Lake Snowden Drive, and turn right into the park area.

Traveling from the west
Take US 50/SR 32 heading east toward Athens. About a mile or two south of Albany, turn left onto Lake Snowden Drive into the park.

Fest With Respect

The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is a Safer Space. We welcome everyone and want to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected. Festival staff and volunteers have undergone a Bystander Intervention training, and are aware that harassment and violence affects everyone. No homophobic, racist, sexist or other unfriendly “-ist” behavior is tolerated here. If you experience or witness any uncool behavior, please report it to the Pawpaw staff. We promise your concerns will be respectfully addressed and taken seriously. We look forward to everyone being awesome to one another.

Pawpaws for the Planet!

Through a partnership with Rural Action, the Pawpaw Festival is taking its recycling and composting efforts to the next level and striving for zero waste to landfill this year!!  That’s right–nada, zip, zero.  But, you’ve got a job to do to help us reach this ambitious goal.  Discard your materials at the resource recovery stations located throughout the fest.  With your help, not only will our native tree fruit be the largest in the nation, but our recycling and composting rates will be huge, too!

You all know the pawpaw is a green, groovy fruit, and the festival has a reputation for being the same way.  In addition to the solar powered stage and reusable beer glasses of the past, vendors have agreed to serve food on compostable service ware only.  They are 100% bought in to a new zero waste policy at the fest.  So we hope you’ll buy in, too!

To make all of these efforts possible, we need some dedicated volunteers.  Please register through the festivals volunteer page.

Click here more about zero waste efforts in the region, or visit the Zero Waste tent at the fest.

Here is the news from the Zero Waste from 2019 Ohio Pawpaw Festival:

With an 87.53% diversion rate, the Ohio Pawpaw Festival officially achieved Zero Waste!

Compost – 1,877 lbs; 56%
Recycling – 816.8 lbs; 24%
Trash – 369.6 lbs; 11%