Franklin's 220th birthday to be celebrated at Pumpkinfest

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The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s 36th annual Pumpkinfest, presented by Jackson, will return to downtown Franklin Saturday, Oct. 26, also coinciding with Franklin’s 220th birthday. 

To commemorate the occasion, the city of Franklin will host a birthday celebration at the Pumpkinfest Main Stage at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Mayor of Franklin Dr. Ken Moore and the new blue bin recycling mascot, “Bin” Franklin, will be in attendance to lead the affair.

In addition to the Franklin birthday celebration, this year’s Pumpkinfest event will have a full schedule of live music and entertainment on two stages, the Main Stage located at Main Street and 1st Avenue and the GSRM Acoustic Corner Stage located in Public Square. The stages will be emceed by Buzz Brainard, host of Sirius XM’s “The Highway;” Meg Hershey, chief operating officer of the Heritage Foundation and its divisions, the Downtown Franklin Association, The Franklin Theatre and Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens; and Shawn Parr, host of “NASH Nights Live.”

Brainard has one of the largest daily audiences of any country music radio personality in North America as the weekday afternoon host on Sirius XM’s “The Highway” on channel 56. His live “Music Row Happy Hour” at Margaritaville in downtown Nashville is a must-see event for visitors from around the world every Friday. Brainard has been a long-time announcer on the Disney Channel and was a 2018 CMA Award nominee for National Broadcast Personality of the Year. 

Prior to joining the Heritage Foundation, Hershey began her professional career as midday radio host on 105.9 JOE FM (WJOW), a 50,000-watt Top 40 Country station in central Pennsylvania. From there, she moved to Nashville to work with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and its subsidiaries, the CMA Theater, Hatch Show Print and Historic RCA Studio B, during the museum’s expansion with the Omni Hotel. She’s also worked for several Nashville marketing agencies, including the 40-year-old firm, GS&F (Gish, Sherwood and Friends), where she supervised and managed key accounts. In the performance realm, she regularly sings the national anthem for the Nashville Sounds, Vanderbilt University athletics, Lipscomb University athletics and others. Following Pumpkinfest, she will be a judge for the Miss Music Row and Miss Nashville Scholarship Competition, an official preliminary to Miss Tennessee and Miss America.

Before joining NASH Nights live, Parr was the voice of KKGO after spending years at the Los Angeles station KZLA. He has also been the voice of Dick Clark Productions for the past two decades, and his work includes announcing the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes and the Academy of Country Music Awards. 

One of the headlining acts at Pumpkinfest will be a show-stopping, "Hocus Pocus"-inspired performance by Franklin’s own version of the Sanderson Sisters at 4:30 p.m. at the GSRM Acoustic Corner Stage.

Main Stage Schedule

9:45 a.m. – Welcome and Ribbon Cutting

10 a.m. – ROOTS Academy

10:40 a.m. – Grassland Dance Academy

11:15 a.m. – Franklin’s 220th Birthday Celebration

11:30 a.m. – People Costume Contest

1 p.m. – Rocky Top Revue

2 p.m. – Battle of the Bands, Sponsored by Dark Horse Institute

4:45 p.m. – Taylon Hope

GSRM Acoustic Corner Stage Schedule

11:15 a.m. – Conservatory of Annie Moses

2 p.m. – Pet Costume Contest, Sponsored by Mars Petcare

3 p.m. – Williamson County Parks and Recreation Rhythm & Spirit

3:40 p.m. – Ann Carroll School of Dance

4:30 p.m. – Sanderson Sisters Hocus Pocus-inspired Performance by Franklin Party Stylist

5:45 p.m. – Ally Gavigan

This year, there will also be a new mobile app to help visitors maximize their experience and easily locate different activities. The app is available to download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

The 36th annual Pumpkinfest, presented by Jackson, is a rain or shine event. Visitors should download the mobile app for up-to-date information about weather, entertainment, frequently asked questions and more. 

Parking and shuttle services from Franklin Transit Authority will be available from Church of the City and The Park at Harlinsdale Farm for $1 per person each way. No pets, non-folding strollers, food or drink are allowed on the trolleys.

Sponsors and key partners include presenting sponsor Jackson; partner-level sponsors Dark Horse Institute, Frost Brown Todd, The Heritage at Brentwood, Mars Petcare, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival and Williamson Medical Center; kids zone sponsor Church of the City; photo booth sponsor Nashville Selfies; VIP member lounge sponsor Berry Farms; audio sponsor Ridenour Rehearsal Studios; acoustic corner stage sponsor GSRM Law; beverage sponsors Bavarian Bierhaus and Leiper’s Fork Distillery; and media partners Hippie Radio 94.5, Mix 92.9, 107.5 The River, CW58, FOX 17, Franklin Home Page, Nashville Scene and YOUR Williamson.

To register for the costume contest, pet costume contest or for more information about the festival, visit WilliamsonHeritage.org/Pumpkinfest.   

The city of Franklin’s blue bin recycling program is voluntary, and more than 7,000 residents have already registered. Citizens will be charged $4 a month for 12 months to cover the administration fee for the blue roll out container after it is delivered to homes in 2020. After the first year, there will not be an added fee. 

The 64-gallon blue roll-out container will remain the property of the city. 

Citizens can learn more about the program at FranklinTN.gov/BlueBin.

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