CIRCLEVILLE — Later this year, you could be able to have the Circleville Pumpkin Show featured on your license plate of your vehicle.
Barry Keller, Pumpkin Show Vice President, said they collected more than 150 signatures last year and submitted them to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Ohio General Assembly to allow the Pumpkin Show to have their logo available for Ohio license plates.
“We thought that it would be neat to have a Circleville Pumpkin Show license plate,” Keller said. “We submitted the signatures to the BMV and Ohio House and in order for it to happen, it has to become part of a bill signed by the governor. Rep. Brian Stewart agreed to sponsor the bill.”
Keller said the Pumpkin Show would get about $25 of each plate sold, but it’s more about the pride in the festival than the money.
“Since the Pumpkin Show is Ohio’s largest and oldest festival, we thought it would be great for people to have a plate to show off across the state and across state lines,” he said.
House Bill 154 was introduced by Stewart this week, something he said was left on the desk after former Representative Ron Hood left office.
“When I was campaigning for the job, I told somebody that I’m not going to introduce license plate bills, but my first day in office, I asked if there was anything left over that they were working on,” Stewart said. “My staff told me one of the things was this request from the Pumpkin Show. God has a way of keeping us humble.”
Stewart said he was happy to introduce the bill, citing his love for the Pumpkin Show.
“I go every day each year and I’m very excited to spread the word about how much it means, not only locally, but across central Ohio,” Stewart said. “If there was ever a license plate bill I was excited to take on, it was this one for the Pumpkin Show.”
Keller said the plate’s approval will take several months, but he hopes it will be completed by October, ahead of the 2021 Pumpkin Show.
“According to the BMV once a bill is passed, they’ll go to work verifying our signatures, approving the artwork, making sure we like the layout on the plate and then they’ll make it available,” Keller said. “That will take several months and we hope it’s completed by the upcoming Pumpkin Show. I think that’s a realistic time frame.”
The plate will feature the Circleville Pumpkin Show logo, which is Winky the pumpkin on top of the phrase “Circleville Pumpkin Show.” The Pumpkin Show Inc. trademarked the logo in 2018.
“It represents our community and Circleville is known for the Pumpkin Show,” Keller said. “You see these specialized plates all over the place for universities, the military and non-profits. I think it’ll be neat to be highlighted through this opportunity.”