The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is a fun-filled and 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, quality entertainment, unique arts, crafts and local businesses throughout southeastern Ohio and beyond. Special events at the festival include competitions for the best pawpaw, best pawpaw-related work of art, pawpaw cook-off, and the ever-popular pawpaw-eating contest. An energetic family environment is created by Kids Central, which provides a wide range of hands-on activities. The Main Stage is host to some of the best musicians and performers in our region. A full line-up of presentations and activities cover pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medical use and other topics related to sustainability.
The Ohio's Hill Country Heritage Area Program. (www.ohiohillcountry.org) serves as the festival's fiscal agent. 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.
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.
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, this year's 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. Volunteers get a free pass to the festival, a t-shirt, and the privilege of using one of the premier festival sorting systems in the nation. Please register through the festivals volunteer page.
To learn more about zero waste efforts in the region visit the zero waste tent at the fest or www.ruralaction.org/zerowaste.
Here is the news from the Zero Waste from 2015 Ohio Pawpaw Festival:
With a 91.26% diversion rate, the Ohio Pawpaw Festival officially achieved "Zero Waste"!
Compost - 2,077.8 lbs; 63.01%
Recycling – 931.8 lbs; 28.26%
Trash – 288.2 lbs; 8.74%
There was a total of 3,009.6 lbs of material generated, collected, and sorted. With over 5,000 attendees this breaks down to 0.659 lbs per person.