Reflections: Last look at the Morrow County Gourd Show


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



Last week I reviewed highlights of the Gourd Shows held at the Morrow County Fairgrounds beginning October, 1963.

This week I will share highlights of the show from October, 1982 until 2006, the last show held in Morrow County.

October, 1982: Kathy Evers of Claridon, daughter of Marion radio personality Charlie Evers, reigned over this year’s show as Ohio Gourd Queen. There were over 1,000 exhibits at the fairgrounds.

October, 1987: This was the 25th year of the gourd show and there were a total of 101 exhibitors from a dozen states who were participating. More than 120 classes were featured. A gourd breakfast was held at the Derrick Motel east of Mount Gilead. O. C. Stevens, Franklin Township farmer was Grand Marshal of the parade at this year’s show, the largest ever.

October, 1992: More than 10,000 people attended the Gourd Show this year. They visited 1,309 exhibits, ranging from gourd animals to Christmas ornaments. A representative of the American Gourd Society, headquartered in Mount Gilead, stated “Mt Gilead is the Gourd capital of the world, It’s something the town can be proud of.”

People from 20 states attended this 30th annual show. Louie and Shirley Biederman of Cardington, again took home a trophy for their entries, along with two brothers from Johnsville. In conjunction with the Gourd Show, Mount Gilead merchants held their second Oktoberfest.

October, 2002: Andrea Blankenship of Mount Gilead, reigned over this 40th annual Gourd Show as Ohio Gourd Queen. Six buildings housed the exhibits People entertained by playing musical instruments fashioned from gourds.

One youngster exhibited his Charlie Brown gourd, fashioned after the popular comic strip character.

The last Gourd Show was held in Mount Gilead in 2006.

Looking back

October, 1941: Cardington’s village council voted to improve Midland Avenue with a gravel surface. Galeon Ruggles of Cardington reported a yield of 110 bushels of corn to the acre, while Hollis Jones reported 107 bushels. They qualified for the county’s 100 bushel club.

October, 1971: Attendants to Candi McClenathan, Cardington-Lincoln High School Homecoming queen were Pam Folts, Bonnie Himler, Marsha Thomas and Jenny Weston.

October, 1981: Cardington-Lincoln High School students Chuck Rawlins, Brent Fissell, Steve Fissell, Steve Davis, Tam Fisher, Brandy Fisher, and Andy Gordon comprised Cardington’s In the Know Team on October 26. The team traveled to WBNS-TV in Columbus to face Washington Court House in a televised match. Washington Court House won the contest.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist