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Families travel from near and far to see Pumpkin Parade

The “Pumpkin of the Opera” float created by the Aldis family was one of many at Sycamore’s annual Pumpkin Festival parade on Sunday. Chronicle photo CURTIS CLEGG

SYCAMORE - The Tello family of Northlake has made it to the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival for the last eight years. This year, for the first time, they made it to the parade. Joyce Tello's three children, Johnathan, 11, Isaly, 7, and Rigoberto, 10, reacted with excitement when they reflected on the parade they had witnessed moments before. Between bites of her sandwich, Isaly danced around enthusiastically while talking about the parade's assortment of at least 15 marching bands. Her siblings shared similar views. &#8220What about the parade?” Joyce asked her children. A wide smile creased Rigoberto's face, and he crouched down, hopped into the air and exclaimed, &#8220Oh, yeah!” Besides the requisite marching bands, an array of floats traveled the parade route through Sycamore Sunday afternoon. The floats ranged from church-sponsored entries to a giant elephant sponsored by the DeKalb County Republican Party. Ronald McDonald also was present, at the helm of a giant shoe sponsored by McDonald's. The Jesse White Tumbling Team also elicited a pleased crowd reaction as the tumblers demonstrated some of their acrobatic skills. The prime festival activities for the Tello family this year were the parade and the carnival rides. Before any rides could be ridden, though, nourishment had to be attained from the festival's food vendors. The Tello children's true desires were obvious: carnival rides. When asked by her mother what she thought about the Pumpkin Fest, Isaly answered, &#8220We haven't even tried it yet” - because they had yet to go on any of the festival's carnival rides. The family's self-proclaimed &#8220smart one,” Rigoberto, almost on cue, blurted out, &#8220I wanna go on the spinny rides!” The rides, however, were not to be in their immediate future. To avoid any unwanted, ride-induced nausea, some lag time would be required for the Tellos, and that time was occupied by the Lions' decorated pumpkins that dotted the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse. &#8220Eat first, walk around a little bit, let it settle and then they can go on all the spinning carnival rides,” Joyce said. Among the pumpkins on the courthouse lawn were ones crafted to look like a dachshund and a SpongeBob SquarePants. Several passers-by, mostly children, remarked immediately when they saw the SpongeBob pumpkin. The parade was a motivating factor in the attendance of another person as well. Michelle Herring made the trip from Mount Morris on Sunday for two specific reasons: the parade and the pumpkins on the square. Herring made the approximately 40-mile trip to the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival for the first time. She said she found the parade to be a bit long but was still enjoying the festival. Standing near the Lions' pumpkin display at the courthouse, Herring pointed out a pumpkin depiction of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as her favorite decorated pumpkin.

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