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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Festival


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.

There are eleven categories for the contest, five age groups, and first, second and third places, so there are lots of winners. The categories are Theme Pumpkins (this year's theme is "Happiness is . . . the perfect pumpkin"); Happy and Fancy; Weird, Ugly, and Scary; TV, Nursery Rhyme, News or Current Events (weird combo, huh?); Carved; Scarecrow; Youth Organization; Adult Organization; Family Entry; Adults -- Carved, Scarecrow and General; and Largest Pumpkin.  This year there were 1,146 entries and, since some entries contain multiple pumpkins, there are lots and lots of pumpkins.

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

43 comments:

  1. I can see why that spider was the "big winner"!! There sure is a lot of pumpkin carving/painting/decorating going on! What fun!

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  2. How much fun! That spider is too scary!

    xo,
    RJ

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  3. Wow those are so cute! My kids would just love them. What a fun event!
    -Shelley

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  4. I love this idea. What fun. What creativity. And how do they pick a winner? That would seem an impossible task. If this was close to me, I'd be having a great time with my camera. Thanks for taking me here via your pix.

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  5. How fun! I would have loved walking around and looking at the pumpkins! Such a fun time of year!

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  6. What a great idea, that 1st prize is amazing. Looks like you had a great day for it too

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  7. That is awesome! So creative, too! Thanks for sharing it.

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  8. What a fun post! I love it.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

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  9. What a fun post- LOVE all the pumpkins and that one that took first prize is amazing! I hope you have a blessed Sunday- xo Diana

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  10. I would love to attend this event. Lots of fall festivities and delightful and unique pumpkins.

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  11. How fun. I love all the pumpkins. The winner was great.

    Hugs,
    Laura

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  12. oh my gosh! I have never seen anything like that before. How fun...and how creative! I enjoyed the photos!

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  13. What a great event! Thanks for sharing so many photos with us. All of the pumpkins that you shared are so creative.

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  14. very very cool indeed! they are so very creative!

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  15. What a lovely idea and how wonderful that it has been going for such a long time. I just love that spider pumpkin. How creative. Some people have not only the best ideas, they are also wonderfully talented xx

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  16. Oh My Goodness, I love all of those pumpkins --but the 'winner' one was AWESOME.... How creative.... Looks like everyone had a good time.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. Oh, that looks like so much fun!

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  18. That looks like a fun fest to see! So many creative ideas for pumpkins these days that each one is a delightful surprise.
    I'm with you on crowds. We try to pick the small town celebrations. Not as crowded, but just as much fun.

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  19. Whoa so cool. All those pumpkins look awesome. So neat, I want to go too hehe.. =)

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  20. Thanks for the fun photos. I've never been to Pumpkin fest. The second place with the hat is fun!

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  21. This is so funny! My old art school used to do something similar!

    I don't celebrate this season, but I love the carvings AND pumpkins. I have a pie waiting on me now. Mmmm.

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  22. This is so funny! My old art school used to do something similar!

    I don't celebrate this season, but I love the carvings AND pumpkins. I have a pie waiting on me now. Mmmm.

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  23. This is so funny! My old art school used to do something similar!

    I don't celebrate this season, but I love the carvings AND pumpkins. I have a pie waiting on me now. Mmmm.

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  24. I can see why the spider won. That is so cute in a scary sort of way.

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  25. Oh wow! that is so fun! I might have to go see that one year. I love pumpkins and decorating them. I'm not great at coming up with my own ingenious ideas, but I can certainly appreciate them. You really can't beat fall!

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  26. I'm also glad you ventured out to the festival. These are great pictures that you are sharing with us. I think fall festivals are my favorites.

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  27. What brilliant pictures! All those little pumpkins made me chuckle to myself!! I want to go there now!!

    Sarahx

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  28. Great pics. I get a bit wistful too when I see parents with young children having so much fun. It brings back good memories though so I'm grateful for that. Hope all is well. Enjoy your weekend!

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  29. Beautiful pictures! This must have been a lot of fun!

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  30. What a great tradition! There are some very creative and fun pumpkins to be seen.
    Mary Alice

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  31. How very cool!! I think I agree the best one is the first place one - the pumpkin skull.
    Thanks!

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  32. Looks like a fun festival. Quite the creative pumpkin crew! Thanks for sharing, liz

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  33. Great pics as always. Darling, I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Please pop in my blog for more details. Hope you can keep 'spreading the blogging love' around. XOXO

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  34. These are so funny and some are so cute.....love them!
    thanks for all your sweet comments, love Heidi

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  35. Wow, what a great idea, a pumpkin festival and the beautiful pics of it.
    Take care!...Heidi

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  36. Well I never!

    Some people are just crazy talented eh? I love the pumpkin clown you've got a picture of here.

    Thanks for sharing a part of your world with us...

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  37. Incredible....where does one look first!!! There are pumpkins everywhere...... Some really great ideas and so creative!

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

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  38. This is beyond amazing! That pumpkin spider looks incredibly vivid!

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  39. Wow! These are amazing Thanks for sharing. Maggie xx

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  40. What a wonderful bunch of pumpkins and such a neat idea for a contest!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  41. Wow. amazing entries, looks great fun. x

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  42. Aren't they just awesome....such fun.

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