• pumpkinforbanner
  • deer
  • delanycreek
  • food
  • johnhaycenter
  • murial
  • speedway
  • visitor

Great Pumpkin Walk and Carving Contest to Return October 25th to 28th

When the idea for beginning a county-wide pumpkin walk was discussed last October at a meeting of the Washington County Tourism Commission, little did the group realize the magnitude of the popularity that the event would produce.  With hundreds of pumpkins carved by participants of all ages lining the community walking trail, the more than two thousand visitors enjoyed viewing the creations as well as filling their treat bags and enjoying craft stations along the way.

Once again the Tourism Commission will be sponsoring the event to be held October 27th and 28th  along the community walking trail starting at The Salem Middle School.  This year’s event will have both expanded categories as well as increased monetary prizes.  Participants may receive free pumpkins to carve or may provide their own pumpkins if desired.  Free pumpkins will be available Wednesday and Thursday, October 25th and 26th in the parking lot located at the Washington County YMCA.  Finished carvings must be turned in Friday, October 27th between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the same location in order to be placed for the evening’s viewing just prior to dusk and will continue until 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Tourism Commission is also encouraging churches, civic organizations, businesses and clubs to get in on the fun by sponsoring a treat stop, craft stop, face painting, games, etc. along the pathway.  This event offers a great opportunity for the entire community to come together to create a memorable time for children and adults alike.  The Commission is also hoping that some civic groups may also be interested in sponsoring food booths for an added dimension.

The categories for this year’s event include painted pumpkins with divisions for kindergarten through second; third through fifth; middle school and high school; carved pumpkin divisions with the same grades breakdown as well as a category for carved pumpkins by adults.  There will also be a category for adults wishing to use artificial pumpkins, gourde carving or painted pumpkins for their entry.  Prizes for elementary categories are $100; $125 for middle school; $150 for high school; and $200 for adult categories. 

Any civic group wishing to join in the fun by sponsoring a stop along the path may contact Tourism Commission president, Chris Bundy via email at: cbundy2012@gmail.com or by calling him at 812-844-1051. 


The second annual Great Pumpkin Walk and Carving Contest will be held October 27th and 28th along the Community Walking Trail starting at the Salem Middle School parking lot and continuing along the trail for as long as the entries permit. What follows are the guidelines for participation. Please be sure to read all guidelines. We hope to see your creations or welcome you to enjoy the festivities.

There are basically three categories. Painted, Carved, Other (artificial, gourds, etc.)
Elementary student categories include Kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth in painted and carved pumpkins. Prizes for these categories are $100 for the winners. Please Note: Understandably, very young children shouldn’t be using sharp knives to carve pumpkins so painting is suggested. A parent may help with the carving, but please allow the design to be the child’s to make it fair to all contestants.

Pre-school…There were several pre-school entries last year. Although we will display pre-school entries, there will be no monetary awards for pre-school although each participant will receive a certificate.

Middle School…The categories for middle school (Grades 6-8) include carved and painted pumpkins. Prizes for these categories are $125 to the winners.

High School…High school categories include carved and painted pumpkins as well as artificial pumpkin carving or alternative carving such as gourdes. Prizes for these categories are $150 to the winners.
Adults…Adult categories include carved pumpkins and a category for artificial pumpkin carving or gourde carving or painting. Prizes for these categories are $200 to the winners.

Free pumpkins will be available in the parking lot of the Washington County YMCA parking lot on Wednesday and Thursday, October 25th and 26th . Please take no more than three free pumpkins for the contest. All completed entries must be turned on Friday, October 27th between 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Pumpkins will be displayed on Friday evening and will be viewed through Saturday evening. Candles will be provided for each entry. If you wish to claim your pumpkin following the event, NO PUMPKIN MAY BE REMOVED BEFORE 10 PM ON SATURDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 28th. After 10:30 p.m. all remaining pumpkins will be available for anyone in attendance wishing to claim one for their holiday decorations. All remaining pumpkins after 11 p.m. will be discarded.

Judging will take place on Friday evening with the winners being marked on Saturday.

Washington County Tourism cannot be held responsible for damaged pumpkins.

Groups wishing to provide a treat stop along the way or set up a game, craft station, face painting, etc. are encouraged to do so by contacting the president of the Tourism Commission, Chris Bundy by email at: cbundy2012@gmail.com or by calling him at 812-844-1051.


George Washington at Vallye Forge

Washington County, Indiana was named in honor of U.S. President George Washington. Washington County is the 7th largest county in Indiana at 514 square miles.

As early as 1802, a man named Frederick Royce lived among the Ox Indians at a place known as the Lick, two miles east of Salem and is probably the first white man to inhabit this county. He was a hunter-trader and salt manufacturer. In 1803, Thomas Hopper was the first to settle in this county near Hardinsburg. Washington County, located in Southern Indiana was formed in 1814 and named in honor of U. S. President George, Washington and is the 7th largest county in Indiana at 516 square miles. Just 45 minutes away from French Lick, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

Washington County and the surrounding areas offer a great variety of activities year-round! Whether it’s Christmas time at the county courthouse, gorgeous fall scenery along a beautiful lake, a spring hunt for mushrooms, or a summer festival, Washington County is a great place for all seasons. There are lots of things to do and see in and around Washington County, and we love being your host!


Adjacent Counties...

  • Jackson County (north)
  • Scott County (northeast)
  • Clark County (southeast)
  • Floyd County (south-southeast)
  • Harrison County (south)
  • Orange County (west)
  • Lawrence County (northwest)

Washington is one of only four counties in Indiana that borders eight others.


Washington County Indiana Historical Markers


Location: South side of Washington County Courthouse, Salem. (Washington County, Indiana)

TEXT: "At this point Gen. John Hunt Morgan routed poorly armed militia and occupied Salem - July 10, 1863. The town was looted and $1, 000 ransom exacted from each mill owner."


Location: SR 135 at Brock Creek Bridge, SW corner, 0.5 mile north of Salem. (Washington County, Indiana)

TEXT: "Located 40 rods west of this spot. Est. before 1812. Salem's early settlers are buried here including Brocks, Kemps, Hendersons; also John Zink, a ranger with Col. Dawalt, fatally wounded by Indians after the Pigeon Roost Massacre."


Location: NE corner of SR 135 & Lick Skillet Road, 8 miles north of Salem. (Washington County, Indiana)

TEXT: "Nearby is the boundary of the Illinoian Glacier, which covered all but approximately 6, 250 square miles in south, central area of Indiana. Most of Indiana's topography was affected by four separate glacial advancements during Pleistocene epoch, circa one million years ago."


Location: North side of Washington County Courthouse, Salem. (Washington County, Indiana)

"County formed 1814 by General Assembly of Indiana Territory. Commissioners selected county seat and named it Salem. This third courthouse completed 1888 using locally quarried limestone. Designed in Richardsonian Romanesque Style by Harry P. McDonald, Louisville. Listed in National Register of Historic Places, 1980."
"Town platted 1814; historic district area includes original plat. Continues as geographical, governmental, business, and social center of county. Nineteenth and early twentieth century commercial buildings-in Italianate, Gothic, and Classical styles-surround public square. Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1997."


Location: near 5751 East Greenbriar Road West, Pekin. (Washington County, Indiana)

"On July 8, 1863, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his men crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, Kentucky and entered Indiana. As a diversion on July 11, Confederate Captain William J. Davis and his troops crossed the Ohio River at Twelve Mile Island, Kentucky and were attacked. Davis and part of his force escaped into Indiana. "
"Heading to Salem on July 11, Davis and some of his men were captured near Pekin by 73rd Indiana Volunteers and a detachment of the 5th U.S. Regulars. Davis and several other soldiers were taken to New Albany and secured in the county jail. On July 13, Morgan's Indiana raid ended as he rode east out of Harrison on the Indiana-Ohio state border."


Location: On east Market Street, a couple of blocks east of the Court House in Salem (Washington County Indiana)

TEXT: "John Hay Center Historical Society organized 1897. Headquarters and genealogical Library in Museum Building.
Birthplace of John Hay built in 1824 as a school. John Hay, Secretary to Pres. Lincoln and Secretary of State for Presidents McKinley and T. Roosevelt was born here on Oct. 8, 1838. Stevens Memorial Museum – Built in 1970 as a Memorial to preserve the heritage in our community."

FREDERICK ROYSE 1750-1825...
Located at Horners Chapel on Horners Chapel Road, a couple of miles north of highway 150.

Located at old Quaker Church on Quaker road, just north of highway 56, a couple of miles east of Salem.

Located on Blueriver Road 1.5 miles from highway 60 at National City Bank in Pekin.

Located on highway 60 across from National City Bank.

TEXT: " In honor of Pekin, Indiana, a town reported to have held Fourth of July celebrations regularly since the 1830’s. Each July 4 citizens gather in Pekin to remember the birth of their nation and to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by their ancestors for the cause of American Independence."



Below are links to websites and contact information that may be of interest to you when planning a trip to beautiful Washington County Indiana.