pumpkin carvings in hamilton ohOperation Pumpkin was a program that Jim Grimm, a true visionary, developed for school aged children back in the 1950’s. Jim was recreational director for the city of Hamilton and established a city-wide parks program that was emulated nationwide as well as a visionary for physical fitness and health advocacy establishing a physical education program in the schools. Operation Pumpkin began as a way for children to have a safe and fun Halloween. Local businesses generously donated hundreds of toys from bicycles to televisions. The police and fire department volunteered to collect and distribute these prizes. The event lasted from the early 50’s into the early 70’s.

Today’s Operation Pumpkin is a way for people of all ages to gather and enjoy the family fun & festivities. With downtown Hamilton development on the rise it was decided that bringing awareness back to the city and honoring Jim Grimm’s “Operation Pumpkin” was the perfect solution. Operation Pumpkin is the city of Hamilton’s Pumpkin & Art Festival. Since Hamilton is the city of sculpture it seemed fitting to have art be a large part of the event.

Ohio is one of the largest pumpkin growing states in the world and is home to a large number of giant pumpkin growers, my husband being one of them. This is how giant pumpkins became a play in the festival. As organizers of this year’s event we plan to hold a giant pumpkin weigh-off & a giant pumpkin carving contest. We have partnered with the YMCA and Camp Cambell Gard which will feature events ranging from a petting zoo to amusement rides. There will be live entertainment, food vendors as well as artists selling their goods.

This event has been very successful with the help of the city, volunteers and all the generous sponsorship needed to make it a success. We have had so much positive feedback and enthusiastic help from local organizations and businesses.

For more information on how you can be a part of Operation Pumpkin please visit email us at operationpumpkin@yahoo.com.

By Tammy Snyder