Pumpkin Festival Offers Something for Everyone

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The Sycamore Pumpkin festival began with one person, but has grown into a large multi-day community celebration that draws thousands from all over the Northern Illinois area. In 1956, Wally Thurow (aka “Mr. Pumpkin”) first displayed some decorated pumpkins on his front lawn. In 1962, Thurow and the Sycamore Lions Club put on the first official Sycamore Pumpkin Festival.

The week-long Festival has grown into one of the largest in Illinois and includes a large display of decorated pumpkins on the courthouse lawn (over 1000 entries this year), several arts & crafts shows, a historic homes tour, a carnival for both small children and teens, a 10k road race, a huge parade and more! All proceeds support local non-profit organizations.


The theme for this year’s 57th Annual Pumpkin Festival is “A Pumpkin Carnival.”

The 2018 Grand Marshal is Windy City Amusements.

Summary of Main Events

Wednesday – October 24th

Pumpkin Check-in – Courthouse Lawn – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sycamore Lions

Downtown Sycamore Trick-or-Treating – 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Opening / Giant Cake Cutting Ceremony (Cake donated by Hy-Vee) North Maple Street adjacent to the Courthouse – 5 p.m.

Thursday – October 25th

Lions’ Pumpkin Display – On the Courthouse Lawn

Kiwanis Prayer Breakfast – United Methodist Church – 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Pumpkin Celebration – Games, story time & treats, for K thru 5th grade, at the Sycamore Public Library (wear your costume!) – 6:00 p.m.

Friday – October 26th

Lions’ Pumpkin Display – On the Courthouse Lawn

Teen Carnival (Sacramento & State) & Kiddie Carnival (Somonauk & Elm) – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. There are ride specials for $25 (check for times at carnival)

United Methodist Church Craft Show (free parking, food available) – “50 Quality Crafters” located at 160 Johnson Ave. – 11a.m. to 5:30p.m. Food and Free Parking Available

Saturday October 27th

Lions’ Pumpkin Display – On the Courthouse Lawn

Sycamore Rotary Pancake Breakfast – St. Mary’s Parish Center, 312 Waterman Street – 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Autumn Craft / Treasures Market hosted by the Sycamore Music Boosters at the Sycamore High School – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

United Methodist Church Craft Show – “50 Quality Crafters” located at 160 Johnson Ave. – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food and Free Parking Available

Cornerstone Christian Academy Craft and Vendor Show – 355 N Cross Street – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Courtesy of Cornerstone Christian Academy, a bus shuttle will be available on Saturday to run between United Methodist Church’s and Cornerstone Christian Academy’s Arts & Craft Fairs.) Bus stop will be located by the movie theater.

Lions Club Pumpkin Display Awards – Courthouse Lawn 10 a.m.

Pumpkin 4-person Golf Scramble – Sycamore Golf Course, 940 E. State Street – 10 a.m. (Registration information – 815-895-3884)

Face Painting – Sycamore High Art Club, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Kiddie Carnival.

DeKalb County History Center Historic Homes Tour – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets – $25 per person, or $40 for 2 people. Tickets are available at the DeKalb County History Center (1730 N. Main), the Sycamore Chamber Office, Sweet Earth Jewelry, and at each home on the day of the walk. Visit http://www.dekalbcountyhistory.org or contact Jayne Higgins for more information at jayne.w.higgins@gmail.com or (815) 909-9056.

Teen Carnival (Sacramento & State) & Kiddie Carnival (Somonauk & Elm) – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($25 ride special, check carnival for times)

Marquee Saturday Events – Sposored by First State Bank, Northwestern Medicine, ServiceMaster by Skip, and Old Second Bank.

  • Conscious Circuis Play-tainment Kids Hoop Workshop – 11 a.m. to Noon on Maple Street
  • Conscious Circuis Roaming Entertainment and Stilt Walker – Noon – 2 p.m.
  • Strolling Magician Tim Balster – 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sycamore Kiwanis Pie Eating Contest – Courthouse Lawn 4 p.m.

Sunday October 28th

Lions’ Pumpkin Display – On the Courthouse Lawn

Autumn Craft & Treasures Market hosted by the Sycamore Music Boosters at the Sycamore High School – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sycamore Chamber 10,000 Meter Road Run – 9:05 a.m. start at the Armory –  Pumpkin Festival Run Website

Teen Carnival (Sacramento & State) & Kiddie Carnival (Somonauk & Elm) – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($25 ride special, check carnival for times)

Pumpkin Festival Parade – Sponsored by Ideal Industries, Somonauk – Elm – California – State & Main Streets. Parade kicks off at 1 p.m.

Parade Page with Map

2018 Pumpkin Festival Brochure (.pdf)

Pumpkin Festival Parade Map (.pdf)

 

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