Family of Ronnie Anderson honored

Family members of the late Ronnie Anderson, who contributed so much to the the annual Allardt Pumpkin Festival for so many years, were honored at this year's festival kick -off ceremony. Ronnie's widow Rebecca was named Festival Queen, surrounded here by family and friends.


The Allardt Pumpkin Festival Committee and the City of Allardt today recognize and pay tribute to the late Ronnie Anderson for his contributions to the City of Allardt and to the Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off. And we welcome his family to the place of honor on our stage.

More than once in past years the Committee asked Ronnie for the privilege of naming him and his wife Rebecca as Festival King and Queen in honor of his tremendous contributions to the festival for so many years. But he always answered, “I’m just too busy that day.”

And that was the truth. Nobody ever worked harder than Ronnie Anderson to make sure everything at the weigh-off and the festival went well.  Through hard work and faithfulness he shared in the success of every event, from getting the Allardt landscape ready for thousands of visitors, to securing garbage cans, to getting the stage at City Hall set up, to helping make sure the giant pumpkins, green squash, and watermelons made their way safely through the weighing process.

Ronnie was alway in the weigh-off pictures, usually with a rope in his hands, straining to help steady an 8 or 900 pounder gently to its resting place on the scales. He served as Site Coordinator for the past few years because of his up close contact with all the entries. He was the one who could spot any flaw that would disqualify an entry from competing.

As the planning for this event got underway in earnest this year amid all the uncertainty and apprehension, all of us thought it and more than one of us voiced it openly, “We sure do miss Ronnie.”

Ronnie was an employee of the City of Allardt since 2005, founder and former pastor of a local church, a fierce prayer warrior, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He had the heart of a pastor and could always offer a listening ear and a word of encouragement

With Ronnie’s wife Rebecca today are Ronnie’s children, their spouses, and his grandchildren.

Michael and Laura, Bo and Sallie, Kyla, Jordan,  Jared and Tori, Zack and Keisha, Austin and Nastacia.  Grandchildren – JD, Elisha,Ben, Ian, Lucas, Kenzie, Ryliegh, Neyland, and William

To his family we say thank you for sharing Ronnie with us all those years when he worked long hard hours to make sure the festival and weigh-off actually happened.

And thank you for letting us honor him today by honoring those he treasured most, his family.


2020 weigh-off winners

Bruce Terry of Helenwood, TN, broke the Allardt Weigh-off record with this 1731.8 pound pumpkin.





















277.6 pound watermelon grown by Frank Mudd in Flaherty, KY.
























243.6 pound bushel gourd grown by Jeremy Terry of Helenwood, TN. 

























Tennessee state record long gourd – 127 inches, grown by Jeremy Terry of Helenwood, TN




 29th Annual Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival
and Weigh-off Events, Saturday, October 3

Allardt's 29th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off is set for Saturday, October 3. (One day only.) Food and crafts vendors will be set up in Bruno Gernt Park and in front of the FCBE Alternative School all day. (Allardt is in the Central Time Zone.)

In a sincere attempt to follow the June 2020 Tennessee Pledge – Guidelines for Attractions, Large Venues, & Large Community Events – adjustments have been made to the program of events for this year only. Vendor Park booths will spaced out to provide for social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be abundantly available at multiple locations. Face masks are recommended as appropriate. Some events have been cut from the schedule.

Pumpkin Run - Registration 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Oct. 3 at Allardt School. Line-up 7:45 to 8 a.m., and start time at 8 a.m. Categories of entry are 10K run, 5K run, 3K, and 1 mile Fun Run. Entry fee is $15 for the 10k, 5K, and 3k, ($40 for family 3+ entries) and $10 for the 1 mile Fun Run. Sponsored by Hall Family Pharmacy to benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation. Entry forms available at Hall Family Pharmacy. Register the morning of the run or online at https://greatpumpkinfestivalpumpkinrun.itsyourrace.com/even….

Festival Kick-off Ceremonies –10 a.m. at Allardt City Hall. Chairman Cathy Jeffers will welcome everyone and present the 2020 Great Pumpkin Festival Royalty.

Weigh-Off of Pumpkins and Other Vegetables – Register your pumpkins, squash, watermelons, and other vegetables from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the Sandy’s Diner building. Entry fee $10. The actual weigh-off will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Allardt is an official GPC weigh-off site.
• Pumpkins - First place - $1000 (2nd – 10th place – $400, $300, $200, $100, $50, $25)
• Watermelons - First place - $600 (2nd – 5th place – $300, $200, $100, $50)
• Green Squash - First place - $400 (2nd – 5th place – $300, $200, $100, $50)
• Prettiest Pumpkin - $100 

The big pumpkin winner must ride in the parade or be disqualified. See rules and regulations at www.allardtpumpkinfestival.com or the Allardt Pumpkin Festival Facebook page. Dwight Dickson will serve as master of ceremonies. John Gunter with the UT Extension Service will serve as the Site Coordinator. Sponsors include Dr. Dilip Joshi, Clarkrange Drug Center, Quality Family of Companies, Fentress County Farm Bureau, Representative John Mark Windle, and Senator Ken Yager.

Clyde and Zelia Stephens Memorial Auto Show
Registration Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon Central Time at the 4-Way Stop in Allardt. $10 registration fee. ALL cars and trucks welcome!
• Awards to Top 25. Dash plaques to the first 300 entries.
• Gift Cards and Car Wash Bucket giveaways.
• Awards and prizes start at 2:00 p.m. day of show registration only.
• Swap meet spaces (auto related items only) 15’ x 20’ - $25.
• Event chairman: Stephen Williams, 931-265-3264.
• Sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts

Motorcycle Show
Registration Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon Central Time at Allardt Land Company. $10 registration fee. ALL motorcycles welcome!
• Awards and Prize giveaways at Auto Show at 2:00 pm
• Day of show registration only
• Event chairman – J.J. Johnson, 931-397-0678.
• Sponsored by Scott and Mary Alice Edwards and Top of the Hill Properties.

Pumpkin Festival Parade - 3 p.m. – The parade is always a highlight of the day and one of the largest parades of the year for Fentress County. As usual, parade entries will line up on the Baseline Road. To line up, follow Highway 52 E from Allardt past the orange water tower to the Les Franklin Road. Turn left at the Les Franklin Road. Then enter the Baseline Road from the Les Franklin Road only. The deadline for entries is noon Thursday, October 1. Call Ashley Bilbrey at 397-0300 to register and for additional information.

Entertainment and On Stage Schedule – Allardt City Hall. William Bilbrey, entertainment chairman.
• 10:00 am – Festival Royalty Introduction
• 12:00 – 1:00 pm –Jake Hoot, Winner Season 17 NBC’s show “The Voice”
• 1:30 – 2:30 pm – Ashley Hepperly

Crafts and Food Vendors - Bruno Gernt Park and directly behind the park at the FCBE Alternative School, all day. The Vendor Park will have additional space between vendors and proposed one-way routing for foot traffic. All vendors set up anywhere in Allardt and who have not paid the fee are asked to purchase a vendor's permit for $25 at Allardt City Hall and keep it at their site during the festival. The permit verifies that vendors have helped support the festival by their contribution toward festival expenses. The vendor park is sponsored by Micro Metals and Top of the Hill Properties. Cathy Jeffers, event chairman.

Not happening this year, but we hope to add back these events for next year’s 2021 Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off: Pumpkin Festival Beauty Pageant, Children’s Costume Contest, Tractor Show, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Roll Contest, Pooch Parade. Fireworks are canceled indefinitely.

~ Free Parking and Free Admission ~

Weigh-off and Festival Event Sponsors and Contributors:
Allardt Real Estate Association, LLC, City of Allardt, City of Jamestown, Clarkrange Drug Center, Dave Kirk Automotive, Dilip Joshi, M.D., Fentress County Ambulance Service, Fentress County Chamber of Commerce, Fentress County EMA, Fentress County Farm Bureau, Fentress County Farmers Coop, Fentress County Soil Conservation District, Fentress Courier, Fentress County Sheriff’s Department, First Volunteer Bank, Hall Family Pharmacy, Jimtown Florist, Micro Metals Inc., Moody’s Automotive, O’Reilly Auto Parts, One Bank, Quality Family of Companies, Representative John Mark Windle, Senator Ken Yager, TDOT, Top of the Hill Properties, Twin Lakes Telephone Coop, Union Bank, and UT Extension Service.


Enter the Parade


⭐️⭐️⭐️ We encourage all auto and motorcycle entries on festival day, Saturday, Oct. 3 to get in the 3 p.m. parade. So many festival goers never get up to the auto and cycle shows. We’d like to see your entries. ⭐️Also we encourage all large vegetable entries to join the parade as well, regardless of your placement in the weigh-off. ⭐️All those mentioned above can just enter the parade from Gum Springs Road as it comes down Hwy 52 toward the center of Allardt. 🎃