Photograph of a postcard depicting a Barnesville pumpkin queen and a photograph depicting a Danbury pumpkin queen.
A pumpkin queen may be either a fictional character or a real person associated with a variety of beauty contests held in North America.
"The Great Queen Pumpkin" served as a major character in the film Curse of Halloween. In R. L. Stine's Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It, "Priscilla is crowned Pumpkin Queen." Recently, Marlane Kennedy published the book Me and the Pumpkin Queen.
A longer-standing tradition of more than a half dozen pumpkin shows and festivals in various American states are pageants to determine the show or festival's Pumpkin Queen. While this tradition goes back to at least the 1930s, usage of the title "Pumpkin Queen" has increased dramatically after 2000.[original research?] Many of these shows and festivals have attendance figures in at least the tens and in some cases hundreds of thousands, a number of who come to see the crowning of the show or festival's new "Queen." These ladies usually also participate in some kind of major parade associated with their respective festival or show. Pumpkin Queens from the more prominent shows and festivals also attend other food festivals and parades in their states while serving as representatives of their respective pumpkin festival or show. These ladies also receive a good deal of local and in some cases regional media attention and are representative of a well-established autumnal tradition in North America and possibly elsewhere. Information and products associated with the many pumpkin queens have appeared throughout the World Wide Web and even on such prominent sites as eBay.
The Circleville Pumpkin Show, the oldest and arguably most prestigious pumpkin show with some kind of a Miss Pumpkin Show contest, has been held annually since 1903 (except during World War II). Other notable pumpkin shows and festivals featuring contests in which winners can become pumpkin queens include Confluence PumpkinFest (2003–2006), Danbury Pumpkin Harvest (1966), Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival, 2006: Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival Queens The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival (1964–2006), The Bradford Pumpkin Show (-2006), The Halloween Pumpkin Princess Tea and Pageant (1965–2007), The Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival (1971–2006), The Versailles Pumpkin Show (1902–2005), The West Virginia Pumpkin Festival (1985–2006), and Tioga Pumpkin Festival (2006).