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Sycamore Pumpkin Fest theme announced

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:55 a.m. CDT
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Savanna Dean, a first-grader at North Grove Elementary School, accepts her prize Wednesday as this year's Sycamore Pumpkin Festival theme contest winner from festival chairman, Jerry Malmassari, outside of the DeKalb County Courthouse. Dean's winning theme is "Pumpkin Adventures," because "pumpkins can be turned into many things and go on adventures like characters from a book or more."

SYCAMORE – Pumpkin Adventures.

That is the theme of the 52nd annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, which will be held Oct. 23 to 27.

The winning entry was submitted by Savanna Dean, 7, a first grader at North Grove Elementary School in Sycamore.

“She chose that theme because ‘pumpkins can be turned into many things and go on adventures like characters from a book or more,’ ” Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee member Jennifer Diehl said Wednesday during the formal announcement on the southern steps of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Savanna was one of 133 Sycamore school students who submitted themes for the annual contest.

Festival Chairman Jerry Malmassari said a committee chose 18 semifinalists and narrowed them down to three before the winner was chosen.

“We chose the most workable theme,” he said.

The two honorable mentions went to Sophia Teran, 9, a third-grader from South East Elementary School, “Pumpkin Community,” and Maxim Breidenbach, 9, a third-grader from South Prairie Elementary School, “Pumpkin Possibilities.”

By winning, Savanna Dean got a $50 check, while the two runners-up each got a check for $25. Savanna’s school also got a $100 check to be used for educational purposes.

Her mother, Cindy Dean, said she came up with the theme out of the blue.

“She did it two days before it was due,” Cindy Dean said. “Once she got her mind set on it, it opened the floodgates.”

Ironically, the Frank and Cindy Dean family, who moved to rural Sycamore two years ago, have a pumpkin patch on their property.

“We’ll have to grow a big pumpkin this year,” Cindy Dean said.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from a previous version.

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