Highwood Gears Up For 8th Annual Pumpkin Fest

CHICAGO (CBS) — Highwood is known for its quirky festivals — Bloody Mary Fest, Garlic Fest, even the annual Red Head Festival. But Pumpkin Fest is the city’s marquis event.

“Pumpkin Fest has turned into its own entity,” said Eric Falberg, the event organizer. “It takes about 1,000 volunteers to run this event. It’s just such an incredible thing to see.”

Scaffolding will soon be put up in front of City Hall, designed to hold and showcase tens of thousands of pumpkins that will be carved over a week’s time.

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Falberg said they have to build the scaffolding up about two to three stories high. (Photo: City of Highwood)

“People can start carving pumpkins as soon as October 2nd,” Falberg said.

This year, they will once again try to break the world record of 30,581 pumpkins carved.

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For the 8th year in a row, Highwood has its eye on the Guinness Book of World Records. (Photo: City of Highwood)

“We used to compete against Team New Hampshire. They still hold the record. We have to light them all at the same time and they have to say lit for at least five minutes. You have to have Guinness here — everyone watching it to make sure none of the lights go out. If we can do that, we can get the record.”

The fest kicks off, unofficially, on Oct. 5 with a community appreciation night, and officially on the 6th. Some of the fest’s highlights include: all you can carve pumpkins, over 20 musical and entertainment acts, contests galore, a Superhero 5K, a full carnival and Make-A-Wish families lighting the pumpkins each night. The fest will once again benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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“The imagery is incredible,” Falberg said. (Photo: City of Highwood)

All of the pumpkins will be illuminated at once on Sunday, Oct. 8th.

90,000 people are expected over the three day festival.

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Falberg said, “If you think it takes your breath away in pictures, it’s much cooler in person.” (Photo: City of Highwood)

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