Step Right up to Sycamore Pumpkin Festival 2018

By Sarah Lalond


Sarah LaLond/Northern Star


Ladies and gentleman, step right up to this year’s Pumpkin Festival! The theme for the five day Halloween extravaganza was “A Pumpkin Carnival”. This event is iconic in local culture, and the Sycamore school district gives students a four-day weekend to enjoy the festivities.


Pumpkins on the Courthouse Lawn

Sarah LaLond/Northern Star


Each pumpkin is placed on the lawn based on age group and creative category. Every entry is given the chance to win first, second or third place in its category.

I spent well over an hour looking at painted pumpkins, carved pumpkins, animal pumpkins, pumpkins that looked like people, a “Donald Trumpkin” pumpkin, pumpkins that looked like food, pumpkins that moved and pumpkins that were uncomfortably creepy.

Pulpy pumpkin seeds were reimagined as guts spilling out of carved sinister-looking faces. Pumpkin spiders with too many eyes and legs sat next to warty pumpkin animals.

I’ve never seen so many pumpkins together at once, let alone such a spread of creative and intricate creations. I attended with Pumpkin Fest veterans who, despite having gone year after year, were still were able to find new designs.


Windy City Carnival

Sarah LaLond/Northern Star


This pop up had all the hallmarks of a carnival: flashing lights, pop music and sugary snacks.  Take a chance and your money to ride “The Sizzler” or “Freak Out.” Rides that might be too high or fast for some people (like me) might be the right amount of thrill for others.



Sarah LaLond/Northern Star


The parade is the capstone of Sycamore Pumpkin Fest. There were at least five marching bands interspersed throughout the parade, including the Finglas Concert and Marching Band from Ireland.

Fabulous floats (the parade version of a pop up advertisement), police and firefighters, horses, dance groups and miniature cars marched their way from Somonauk Street to West Lincoln Street.

Sarah LaLond/Northern Star