A Little Time and a Keyboard: 11 Illinois Pumpkin Festivals Not to Miss

11 Illinois Pumpkin Festivals Not to Miss

Saturday, August 31, 2019

11 Illinois Pumpkin Festivals Not to Miss

Illinois Pumpkin Festivals to Explore in 2019

We here in Illinois love our pumpkins! Fall festivals in Illinois include some fantastic pumpkin festivals. Illinois is the United States' top producer of pumpkins, so where better to celebrate the pumpkins than here! I have put together a collection of top pumpkin festivals here in Illinois to have on your list:

Morton Pumpkin Festival: Known as "The Pumpkin Capital of the World," it is no shock that Morton has both one of the largest and earliest pumpkin festivals. Morton's pumpkin celebration began in 1967 in celebration of the beginning of pumpkin harvesting and canning season. Morton Pumpkin Festival celebrates with a parade, pumpkin weigh in, box car race, big wheel race, pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin boat race and much more. While the festival runs September 11-14, some of the fun starts September 7.

The Great Pumpkin Patch: Most of the festivals on this list are of the shorter variety, but I had to add a patch or two that stood out. In Arthur, The Great Pumpkin Patch features 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from around the world all grown on the farm. Of course, there are many other fun farm activities including meeting farm animals, enjoying mazes and more. But, how could I not highlight a farm with so varieties of pumpkin! The farm will be open to the public September 7-October 31 this year.

Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm: Another farm I just to highlight is Heap's in Minooka which features the largest giant pumpkins! So, how can you not want to visit?  Heap's has plenty of other farm fun like meeting farm animals, a corn maze, moonlight hayrides and more. But, I must admit that I need to go for the giant pumpkins! Heap's fall fun runs September 7-October 31, 2019.

Pumpkins as far as the eye can see at The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival.
Pumpkins as far as the eye can see at The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival.
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival: The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival features hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns carved and lit by the community. The festival is attempting to achieve the Guinness Book of World Record's record for number of jack-o'-lanterns lit and carved at the same time. Visitors enjoy pumpkin carving, carnival rides, a pumpkin pie eating contest, trick-or-treating, costume contests and more. This year's event runs October 11-13, 2019 with a special community night October 10.

Waterloo Pumpkinfest: Waterloo Pumpkinfest has pumpkin fun for everyone! Pumpkin art, a pumpkin seed spitting contest, a pumpkin pie eating contest, carved and decorated pumpkin contests, costume contests and more will have you in a pumpkin haze this year on October 12, 2019!

Carving at Night of 1.000 Jack-o'-Lanterns.
Carving at Night of 1.000 Jack-o'-Lanterns.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns: For two weekends in October, visitors are awed and impressed by 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns many with intricate designs. The festival also includes live carving demos. This year's festival will be held October 16-20 and 23-27.

Jack-O'-Lantern Spectacular: More the 2,000 jack-o'-lanterns will light up the Carillon and Washington Park Botanical Garden in Springfield during the Jack-O'-Lantern Spectacular. The jack-o'-lanterns are the creations of the community and artists. You can help craft jack-o'-lanterns during Carve for the Carillon this year October 12-13, 2019. The fest runs October 18-19.

Pumpkin Flotilla Fest: Pumpkin Flotilla Fest in Glen Ellyn provides a unique opportunity to float your jack-o'-lantern in a lake! You can carve a pumpkin at the festival or bring your own creation which you will need to register ahead of time. The fest features plenty of other fun including a pumpkin carving demo, live music, canoe rides and more. This year's event will be held on October 20.

Pile of Pumpkins

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival is grand indeed featuring over 1,000 decorated pumpkins, a parade, carnival, craft shows, a pie eating contest and more. The pumpkins are displayed on the courthouse lawn which I think is a nice touch. This year's even runs October 23-27, 2019.

Mount Carroll Pumpkin Fest: Mount Carroll Pumpkin Fest features all sorts of pumpkin fun including a pumpkin slingshot, gourd decorating, costume parades and more. The pumpkin drag races add extra flare to the festivities! This year's festival will be held on October 26, 2019.

Jacksonville Main Street Pumpkin Festival: Jacksonville Main Street Pumpkin Festival provides families with a full day of pumpkiny fun. Enjoy pumpkin decorating, a pumpkin drop, a pumpkin baking contest, wing contest, trick-or-treating and more. This year's event will be on October 26, 2019.

Happy Pumpkin Festing!

11 Illinois Pumpkin Festivals Not to Miss

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