Highwood Pumpkin Fest attempts to break record

October 16, 2013 (CHICAGO)

How many people does it take to carve 32,000 pumpkins?

According to the Village of Highwood, it takes thousands of volunteers to do the carving.

But first, all of the pumpkins have to be scooped out.

Scooping out 32,000 pumpkins is enough to make peter, peter pumpkin eater a very tired boy, but at the Highwood Public Works, that's exactly what's happening.

Volunteers are removing the seeds and the goop from enough pumpkins to get them ready for a big-time world record.

"We're going to try and break and Guinness Book of World Records for 32,000 pumpkins all lit at the same time, this weekend, starting Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday," said Eric Falberg, founder of Highwood Pumpkin Fest.

Volunteers have been at this job since last Friday and they still have a long way to go. But for those who are carving the orange beauties, at least the sloppy part of the job is done.

"We're scooping out all the junk from the pumpkins so you don't have to worry about anything when you get down there," said Falberg.

So who carves?

"Anyone who comes to the event carves," said Falberg.

Starting Thursday through Saturday, they're hoping thousands of people show up to sculpt their own creations and for just $2 dollars, they can carve as many as they want.

By Friday night, the 32,000 pumpkins will be up on scaffolding. On Saturday night, they will light them all to set the record.

But, Guinness is very strict about their world records.

"At 7:00 p.m. we start lighting the pumpkins, and at 7:30 p.m. we start counting the unlit pumpkins. We subtract the unlit pumpkins from the lit pumpkins and at 7:35 p.m. we have the total lit pumpkins in accordance with the Guinness Book of World Records," said Elliott, chief witness for the Guinness Record Book.

The current record is 30,128, but Highwood hopes to be smashing pumpkins record in a big way.

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