Highwood’s 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival

There is nothing more beautiful than a lit jack-o-lantern on a fall night.  On October 17-19 , the city of Highwood and the Autism Society of Illinois are teaming up to create a great pumpkin filled weekend for people of all ages to enjoy. They have a goal to try and have  52,000 lit pumpkins on streets of Highwood in their 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival. Each pumpkin will be a visual representation of a child in Illinois affected with autism.

 Highwood Pumpkin Festival at Night. Photo credit to http://highwoodpumpkinfest.com/Highwood Pumpkin Festival at Night. Photo credit to http://highwoodpumpkinfest.com/

The town of Highwood cannot possibly carve 52,000 pumpkins alone. They want everyone to “adopt” a pumpkin to carve.  Adopting a pumpkin is very simple. You can either carve one yourself at the pumpkin festival on one of the many carving tables lined up on the streets of Highwood. They provide the pumpkin (with all the seeds & goop scooped out) and the tools. If you cannot make it to the festival you can also use their app to donate five dollars to the Autism Society of Illinois and the city of Highwood will carve and display one for you.

Carving pumpkins at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival  in 2013
Carving pumpkins at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival in 2013

 

Once the pumpkin is carved you can set it on the pumpkin shelves all lined up and down on the streets of Highwood. On Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm there will be a ceremonial lighting of all of the pumpkins on display. Sunday night will have the Grand Lighting Ceremony at 5:30pm. Since this year’s event is Autism Friendly there will be a sensory friendly quiet area at this time at the Highwood Library {102 Highwood Avenue}.  

Pumpkins on display at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival 2013
Pumpkins on display at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival 2013

In addition to pumpkin carving, the Pumpkin Festival also has artisan shopping, gourmet food with pumpkin themes, kids rides, bounce houses, pony rides, hay rides, pumpkin beer tasting, trick or treating on the streets on Friday night and much more. I have been to this event every year since it was created. It has grown from a little pumpkin carving event, to this massive festival that you can spend all weekend at.

Pony Rides at the Great Pumpkin Festival
Pony Rides at the Great Pumpkin Festival

Admission to the festival is 2 dollars per person, per day.  Some of the rides do cost money. However, there is a wristband deal where you can pay 10 dollars for unlimited access to the maze, hayrides, and bouncy houses. All proceeds from admission and rides go to the Autism Society of Illinois.

Meeting zombies at the pumpkin festival 2012.
Meeting zombies at the pumpkin festival 2012.

In addition to pumpkin carving and activities , Highwood also has a 5k pumpkin run/walk and kids dash.  The run hopes to bring in 1,000 participants to raise more awareness for autism. The run will begin in front of the Bent Fork Bakery on October 19th, at 9:00 a.m.  Costumes are strongly encouraged.  For more information or to sign up visit their event page.

For the complete schedule of events happening at this festival including trick or treating hours and the pumpkin dump, Highwood Pumpkinfest webpage  or call the city of Highwood at 847-432-1924.

 

 

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About Tracy Rubel 94 Articles
Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden. She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.

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