The four-day festival will bring people from all over together as they attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the most jack-o-lanterns lit in one location. Plans call for 32,000 pumpkins to light up Highwood on Saturday October 23rd to break the current world's record set in 2006 of 30,128 pumpkins in Boston, MA.
The four-day Great Pumpkin Fest kicks off on Wednesday, October 20th and will culminate on Saturday, October 23rd with the grand lighting at 6:30 pm. The family fun festivities leading up to the record breaking pumpkin lighting will offer plenty of opportunities for people to come and bring their own jack-o-lanterns or carve pumpkins and place them in the display, and then take them back home after the Record Breaking attempt (all remaining pumpkins will be composted). Each day of the festival will include the Highwood Evening Gourmet Farmers Market at City Hall Park (17 Highwood Ave), Antique Vendors at School of Rock (Everts) Park, live music on multiple stages, hay rides, a haunted fun house, pumpkin carving stations, massive pumpkin displays, ceremonial lighting of the towers each evening at 6:30, and much more! Further festival fun includes:
• Wednesday-Friday, October 20-22, 3-8 pm and Saturday the 23rd, noon-8 pm: Evening Gourmet Farmer's Market at City Hall Park and Antique Vendors at Evert's Park. • October 20-23rd Highwood's Most Horrifying Halloween House Contest, with winner being announced after the Record Breaking lighting. Call 847.433.2984 for more information.
• Friday, October 22nd, 3pm-8pm
• 3-8 pm Carving Night at City Hall Park, School of Rock (Everts) Park and Scout (WestOver) Park, haunted fun house, hay rides, live music by Canasta, food, vendors, etc.
• 3-7 pm Trick-or-Treating throughout the business district.
• 3-close Pumpkin Treats and Pumpkin Drink specials at designated restaurants, taverns, and businesses throughout Highwood.
• 6:30 pm will be the ceremonial lighting of the main pumpkin wall by local celebrity (TBA), followed by Flash Mob/Thriller Dance at City Hall Park.
• Saturday, October 23rd, full day of festivities from 9am-8pm
• noon-8 pm a day full of pumpkin carving and counting, food, vendors, children's entertainment, live music on four different stages (City Park Main Stage: noon-4 pm Dr. Mudd, 4-8 pm TBA, Sheridan and Webster Stage: Phase Recording Studios will provide live music from noon-8, School of Rock will provide live music from 5:30-8 pm at School Of Rock (Everts) Park gazebo, Scout (WestOver) Park Stage: 2:00 noon - Midwest Young Artists' brass ensemble), shopping, haunted fun house, hay rides, etc.
• 8 am Midtown/Athletico 5k Pumpkin Run and Kids Pumpkin Dash. The cost is $25 for adults or $10 for kids, with a $5 dollar discount if you bring a pumpkin. Participants can register at www.signmeup.com and search Highwood 5k Pumpkin Run and Kids Pumpkin Dash. Run starts at Buffo's. Participants are then invited to brunch compliments of and at Bridie McKenna's. Non-participants are welcome for $10.
• 11 am is the Giant Pumpkin Land Regatta, featuring huge pumpkins propelled by human power in a 100-yard race from the corner of Sheridan Road and Highwood Avenue, due north. First 20 contestants receive free 200 lb pumpkins. Contact Rob Sabo at email@example.com
• Noon Pumpkin Pie contest winner announced at City Hall Park, entrance fee $1. Registration and rules contact Catherine Lambrecht at firstname.lastname@example.org
• 1-3 pm Pumpkin Chuckin' Catapult Contest at Scout (WestOver) Park. Visit www.celebratehighwood.com
• 2-4 pm Dress Your Pet Halloween Costume Contest at School of Rock (Everts) Park.
• 4-5:30 pm The Great Costume Parade starting from the School of Rock (Everts) Park winding through Highwood.
• 5:30 pm Artist Pumpkin Carving Competition winner announced in front of City Hall (17 Highwood Avenue). 1st place $500, 2nd place $100, 3rd place $50. Submission fee is $25. Contestants can register at email@example.com
• The festivities culminate at 6:30pm with the lighting and grand display to break the Guinness Book of World's Record for the most jack-o-lanterns.
Last year the city hosted its Prelude to the Great Record Breaking Pumpkin Fest of 2010, drawing record crowds and lighting over 1,200 jack-o-lanterns. This year the city has added more events and hopes to break the current Guinness World Record. The pumpkin walls will be displayed all around Highwood. Pumpkin Fest central will be located at the Highwood's City Park at Highwood City Hall, 17 Highwood Avenue, beginning Wednesday, October 20th, 2010.
"We are going to break the world record this year by working with pumpkin farmers from all over the Midwest from Wisconsin to downstate Illinois, and have pumpkin carving at every school, religious organization, community organization and the local military bases," says Alderman Eric Falberg, the great pumpkin mind behind this event.
About The City of Highwood
Highwood was founded in 1868 by William Wallace Everts, a Chicago civic leader and world-renown educator. His concept of a family-based community has endured for more than a century. The beautiful Everts Park, in the heart of downtown Highwood, has been named in the founder's honor. Benches and trees in the park celebrate and remember people who, through turbulent times and peaceful ones, built and sustained the community. Many of Highwood's street names recall Everts' family and friends whom the founder encouraged to build homes here. Residents of Swedish, Irish, Italian, Latino and other heritages have since populated the community, each enriching the community through their cultural traditions.
The Village of Highwood was incorporated in 1887. The name briefly became Village of Fort Sheridan and then City of Fort Sheridan. In 1904, the community officially became known as the City of Highwood. Fort Sheridan, a former army base northeast of the City, has had a profound influence on Highwood's development, and it continues to do so today as part of its land, incorporated into the City, nearly doubled Highwood in size. Today, Highwood is blending the past and present with exciting new plans for its future.
The City of Highwood, IL administrative offices are located at 17 Highwood Avenue Highwood, Illinois 60040. For more information, please visit http://www.celebratehighwood.com or http://www.cityofhighwood.com Tel: 847.432.1924.
WHERE: (DIRECTIONS) FROM PR CONTACT ILYSE: We will all be at City Hall, 17 Highwood Avenue. If your crew takes 94 West into the Edens Expressway which they then take into Highway 41 North, they exit at 22 (Half Day Road) and go East. 22 will end at Green Bay Road (the metra train will be in front of them) and they turn left (north) to the first street (stop sign) which is Highwood Avenue. They will not miss the huge constructed Pumpkin Wall. Pumpkins will be all over. There is a parking lot at City Hall on the right and we will be there with COFFEE and Pumpkins in hand!!