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Spider pumpkin wins ‘Pick of the Patch’ award

Daniel Bautista's spider pumpkin won the "Pick of the Patch" award at this year's Pumpkin Festival.
Daniel Bautista's spider pumpkin won the "Pick of the Patch" award at this year's Pumpkin Festival.

SYCAMORE – Local resident Daniel Bautista’s giant spider pumpkin won the acclaimed “Pick of the Patch” award from a record number of entries in the annual Pumpkin Festival contest.

The Sycamore Lions Club saw 1,146 entries in the 51st pumpkin display on the courthouse lawn in downtown Sycamore. Awards were issued Thursday morning in more than 30 categories, most delineated by age group, and the “Pick of the Patch” winner was chosen among the first-place winners in the other categories.

Ed Kuhn, who chaired the pumpkin contest with fellow Lions Club member, Tom Moline, figures the contest only topped 1,000 entries once before in its history. The club cut off entries Wednesday evening, and the its three vice presidents were out early Thursday judging.

They based their decisions on the creativity and ability within the age groups, Kuhn said.

“If it looks like their parents made it, they may not win,” Kuhn said. “... The prettiest one in the particular display may not win; it’s the creativity.”

The winners received a small cash prize and a coupon to a local restaurant.

“The Sycamore Lions Club thanks the children of all ages that help to make this the great family activity that it is,” Kuhn wrote in a news release. “Wally ‘Mr. Pumpkin’ Thurow is undoubtedly smiling down on us this weekend.”

Thurow, a Lions Club member who died in February, created the festival in 1962. He was honored Wednesday before the ceremonial cake cutting, and donations for a bronze statue of Thurow are being taken in small pumpkins at Sycamore schools. The life-size statue would sit at the northwest corner of Somonauk and Elm streets.

Pumpkin Festival today

• Pumpkin displays can be viewed on the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse on State Street.

• The DeKalb County Shrine Club will offer pork chop sandwiches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• A craft show will be hosted from noon to 5:30 p.m. by Sycamore United Methodist Church, 160 Johnson Ave. Food also will be available.

• Heartland Blood Center will hold a blood drive from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on South Maple Street.

• The teen carnival will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. at Sacramento and State streets.

• The kiddie carnival for young children will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. at the parking lot at Somonauk and Elm streets.


Pick of the Patch – Daniel Bautista

Presidents Award – Evans Family

School Participation:
    1st – Southeast Elementary
    2nd – North Grove Elementary
    3rd – St. Mary’s of Sycamore

Youth Organization or Group - (17 & under)
    1st – Early Childhood South Prairie
    2nd –North Grove
    3rd – Salem Lutheran Confirmation Program

Adult Organization or Group
    1st – Hillcrest Covenant Church
    2nd – Autism Awareness
    3rd – Dorr Plumbing and Heating

Theme Category (Happiness is the …Perfect Pumpkin)
5 & Under
    1st – Jack Boryc
    2nd – Aden Schultz
    3rd – Hayden Fant

6-7 Years
    1st – Madyson Block
    2nd – Rebecca Allen
    3rd – Adyson Hull

8-9 Years
    1st – Oliver Keicher
    2nd – Jordyn Block
    3rd – Charlotte Sharp

10-11 Years
1st – Jacob Nations
    2nd – Travis Evans
    3rd – Max Griffey
12-17 Years
1st – Miranda Blankenbehler
    2nd – Anna Gosciejew
    3rd – Roan Findley

Happy and Fancy
5 & Under
    1st – Addison McLaughlin
    2nd – Rachel Grehn
    3rd – Aubrey Burke
6-7 Years
    1st – Bella Caputo
    2nd – Colleen Simpson
    3rd – Hailey Loyd
8-9 Years
    1st – Abi Payne
    2nd – Molly Griffey
    3rd – Jaden Peck
10-11 Years
    1st – Charlotte Sylvia
    2nd – Maddie Weaver
    3rd – Tessa Harbecke
12-17 Years
    1st – Jenna Lewey & Ellie Kerkove
    2nd – Emily Dunbar
    3rd – Morgan Olson

Weird, Ugly & Scary
5 & Under
    1st – Peter Gehrig
    2nd – Michael Olson
    3rd – Alexis Rothembach
6-7 Years
    1st – Lucas Windurn
    2nd – Ryese Taylor
    3rd – Trace Cook
8-9 Years
    1st – Joseph Brestan
    2nd – Jacob Hull
    3rd – Hayden Beck
10-11 Years
    1st – Abby Krull
    2nd – Andrew Russo
    3rd – Keegan Palm
12-17 Years
    1st – Jeffrey Maness
    2nd – Jason Maness
    3rd – Grace Clark

TV, Nursery Rhyme
5 & Under
    1st – Zach Ziegler
    2nd – Maddux McLaughlin
    3rd – Grace Hagemeyer
6-7 Years
    1st – Sam Krull
    2nd – Johnny Jarrett
    3rd – Addison Peck
8-9 Years
    1st – Genna Gower
    2nd – Brody Armstrong
    3rd – Irish McCoy
10-11 Years
    1st – Griffin Gower
    2nd – Madeline McCormick
    3rd – Nolan Benson
12-17 Years
    1st – Kortney Jones
    2nd – McKenzie Palm
    3rd – Mathew Madsen

7 & Under
    1st – Danny Young
    2nd – Terron Begay
    3rd – Brady Horan
 8-9 Years
    1st – Jeremy Peterson
    2nd – Andrea Foulk
    3rd – Emmy Kuhn
10-11 Years
    1st – Kate Heegaard
    2nd – Ethan Gall
    3rd – Noelan Garbes
12-17 Years
    1st – Dana Nielsen
    2nd – Reed Kousoulas
    3rd – Tallon Grewe

11 & Under
    1st – Zayne Adams
    2nd – John, Jack, Dylan & Kalob
    3rd – Zak Geraci
12-17 Years
    1st – Neriah Garbes
    2nd – Grace Carlson
    3rd – Health Occupations II, 2nd Session

Family Entry
    1st – Laura, Briana, Emily, Evan, Ella
    2nd – Dave & Roberta Aldis
    3rd – Emma Winters

Adults (Carved, Scarecrow, General)
    1st – Carol & Lynden Bute
    2nd – Joel Peck
    3rd – David & Chad Carrington

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