Pumpkin Festival to begin Wednesday

By Richard Snowden

Wednesday, the City of Sycamore will kick off its 44th annual Pumpkin Festival. The event, commonly known as Pumpkinfest, will conclude Sunday, with a 10K race and parade.

The festival opens Wednesday afternoon with a giant cake-cutting ceremony on the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn, 133 W. State St. in Sycamore, at 5 p.m. Thursday, a Lions Club pumpkin display will be staged at the courthouse and the carnivals will start at 5 p.m.

Julie Brannon, president of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee, said two different carnivals will be held at the festival.

“The carnivals are from Thursday through Sunday,” Brannon said. “There’s one downtown on Somonauk Street that’s geared toward children, and the one at Sacramento and State streets is more designed for older kids and teenagers.”

The arts and crafts displays, a popular part of the festivities, are scheduled to open Friday and run through Sunday, Brannon said.

“We’ll have people who bring in crafts to sell for profit, and they’ll be in four different locations,” she said. “We’ll also have about 41 not-for-profit craft vendors downtown.”

The not-for-profit craft vendors are an important part of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, Brannon explained.

“The festival is largely geared around not-for-profit organizations to raise money for them to put back into their communities,” she said. “They have to be DeKalb County not-for-profit organizations in order to participate in Pumpkinfest, so all the money they raise goes to benefit local organizations.”

The not-for-profit craft vendors can be accessed for free, while there will be a nominal fee to visit the for-profit vendor displays, Brannon said.

The festivities kick into high gear Saturday, with a wide range of events planned.

In addition to the crafts displays and carnivals, the Jesse White Tumblers are scheduled to perform on Somonauk Street at 3:30 p.m., while the Chicago White Sox Bandwagon will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Sycamore Library House Walk, which offers a guided tour of historic buildings for $20 per person, will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Food will be a major theme Saturday, with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Beef Burger Luncheon from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a Pig Roast Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival will wind down Sunday, with the Sycamore Chamber 10,000 Meter Road Run scheduled to begin at the National Guard Armory at 9:35 a.m. and the Pumpkin Festival Parade set to begin at 1 p.m. on Somonauk Street.