Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, and not a pie in sight! Pumpkins have invaded the courthouse lawn in Sycamore, Illinois, so it must be Pumpkin Fest. Each year right before Halloween, the town goes crazy for pumpkins. Pumpkin Fest has all the usual small town festival trappings -- a big parade, a carnival, a craft fair, food booths, and actually it's not true about not a pie in sight because there is a pie-eating contest on one of the festival days. The festival also has something a little unique (and my favorite part) -- a pumpkin display and contest which covers the courthouse lawn for four days. Carved pumpkins, painted pumpkins, funny, scary, silly, ugly -- all kinds of pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns.
Pumpkin Fest began in 1962, and the pumpkin display is quite a popular feature with local folks. Parents bring their children to see the pumpkins, and I imagine many of them came as children themselves with their own parents twenty years earlier.
|This section contained large groups of pumpkins from preschool and school groups.|
I'm glad I managed to make it to Sycamore this year to see the pumpkins. I have no interest in the other festival events with the big crowds, but it is fun to tour the pumpkin display. Even on an early Friday afternoon, however, there was a sizable crowd milling around -- young parents with strollers, some school-age children, middle-aged folks with or without grandchildren, attorneys taking a break from court, and a few elderly people walking carefully along the storm fences which enclose the display. The pumpkins made me smile even as they made me a little wistful for the days when my own children were young.
|The Big Winner|