6th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest


HIGHWOOD, IL (OCTOBER 9-11, 2015) – It’s back and the City of Highwood is once again transforming into Pumpkin Fest headquarters and going BIG! The Autism Society of Illinois and the City of Highwood are proud to announce the 6th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival will be held October 9-11, 2015. Kicking off the Halloween season, this fan favorite event will bring communities together while working to beat the Guinness World Record of 30,581 for most pumpkins carved in one place (a record held by Keene, New Hampshire). The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival will shine a light on hope, possibilities and options for the 52,000 individuals impacted by Autism in Illinois, by striving to light a pumpkin for everyone affected while raising much needed funds and awareness for the worthy cause.

“52,000 jack-o-lanterns may be a big dream to carve out, but our true goal is to help raise awareness, acceptance and monies needed for advocacy outreach for Illinois families,” says Matt Ackerman, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Illinois. “All money raised in Illinois stays in Illinois and we strive to exceed the already extraordinary amount of $40,000 raised last year. With this event, we know it is possible!”
Fest goers will be thrilled to have their favorite activities back, including: all you can carve onsite pumpkins, the Great Pumpkin Maze, Trick or Treating, Pet Costume Contest, Pumpkin Parade, hay rides, pony rides, petting zoo, carnival rides, kids crafts, two music stages jam packed with solid entertainment, seasonal food and beverage vendors galore and a 5K Pumpkin Run, Walk & Kids’ Dash! As always, all lit jack-o-lanterns will be placed on pumpkin walls throughout the Festival grounds, with a ceremonial wall lightings set to music Friday and Saturday nights, and the grand lighting on Sunday evening.

In addition, new highlights for 2015 include:

“Another Pumpkin on the Wall” fundraising program for The Autism Society of Illinois, in which each “brick” represents 40 pumpkins for donor carving. Families and companies are encouraged to purchase these “bricks” to watch them lit to music! Each brick will be labeled with signage, for easy recognition as they are lit.

Brian Larsen the winner of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” will be onsite setting the majestic lit pumpkin walls to music. It will be a sight to behold!

Chicago’s favorite jam band, Blotto, will be serenading the crowd when the grand wall is lit, playing their rendition of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” as the final pumpkins are lit.

Pumpkin seed spitting and pumpkin pie eating contests!


Once again, this years’ Autism-friendly event will have a sensory quiet area located at the City Hall, 17 Highwood Ave. Aside from funds raised at the Festival, the public is invited to raise additional money for the Autism Society of Illinois by:

In addition to these fundraising efforts, there will also be a $2/day admission. All the proceeds from The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival will go to Autism Society of Illinois.

Please note: As more details are secured and the music line-up announced, updates will be posted to www.highwoodpumpkinfest.com.

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