Welcome to October
If you're from Sycamore, then you know all about one of our dearest traditions -- the Pumpkin Festival. If you've never been to Sycamore in October... you're missing out.
The Pumpkin Festival was started by Wally Thurow, when in 1956 he decided to decorate his front lawn with painted pumpkins to highlight the fun and creativity of Halloween. It wasn't until 1962 that the Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration! Now, every year, the front lawn of the courthouse is livened every Halloween by pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, from tiny gourds to scarecrows to giant pumpkins hoping to take home the crown.
For the pumpkins, entrants compete in a number of categories, including submissions in the Pumpkin Festival theme. Potential themes are submitted by kids in the Sycamore School District (this year's theme is "Pumpkins Across the Decades" from a local second grader!)
Apart from the courthouse lawn decorations, Pumpkin Fest also features a carnival, a pie eating contest, a fun fair, a 10K race, and a lot of arts and crafts booths from local business and townspeople interested in showcasing their creativity. The weekend wraps up with a parade through the Sycamore downtown on Sunday afternoon.
The Pumpkin Festival is a staple in this town, and people who have left Sycamore make a point to return home to celebrate it. For Other Almosts, Pumpkin Fest weekend is when our main characters find them back home. For them, the history and celebration of Pumpkin Fest is at odds with the confusion they feel about the future. It's the perfect backdrop to highlight their confusion and isolation while this weekend of celebration is happening all around them.
Pumpkin Festival is so important to Sycamore and it's so important to the filmmaking team here at Other Almosts. We want to share it with you on the screen -- and if you find yourself in Sycamore around Halloween be sure to drop by the festival! We'd love to share our history and our creativity with you.