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Government Local

Sycamore makes Pumpkin Fest plans

SYCAMORE – With the Pumpkin Festival drawing near, Sycamore city officials have planned several road closings to make way for the festival’s events.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, council members unanimously established the 52nd annual festival will take place from Oct. 23 to Oct. 27. Members also approved a measure to request the state Department of Transportation close parts of Route 64 at various times throughout the day Oct. 27 for the Road Run and the Pumpkin Festival Parade.

The festival has been an official celebration in the city since the 1960s through the efforts of the Sycamore Lions Club and the late Wally Thurow, also known as “Mr. Pumpkin,” according to the festival’s website. A tentative schedule of this year’s events can be found at 

The festival keeps growing every year, said Jerry Malmassari, president of the Pumpkin Festival committee. 

“It started, honestly, as a fundraiser for the [Sycamore Lions] club but it became so popular so quick,” he said. 

While this year’s events at the festival will be similar to past events, one difference will be the cake offered at the Oct. 23 opening ceremony, Malmassari said. While the cake was donated by Brown’s County Market in the past, this year Hy-Vee will deliver the giant decorated cake with the theme on it. 

The theme for this year is Pumpkin Adventures, submitted by Savanna Dean, a student from North Grove School. For Malmassari, the festival is beneficial for the community and the children who live in it.

“While it not only helps the nonprofit groups in DeKalb County but it also allows the kids to show off their creativity,” he said. 

Council members also unanimously approved the use of city parking lots to be occupied by two carnivals for the whole festival. Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said he was looking forward to the festival and the crowd it brings. 

“We look forward to them coming to the festival and having a lot of fun,” he said. 

Thurow, who died in 2012, will still be missed by many people who knew him when they came to the festival, Malmassari said. 

“He’s really missed and by so many folks who like talking to him around this time,” he said.

Planned road closures:

Where: Route 64 from Kingsway Drive to Sacramento Street

When: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Oct. 27

Where: Route 64 from Locust Street to Sacramento Street

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 27

Parking lots planned for carnivals: 

What: City Parking Lot #3

Where: Corner of Sacramento Street and State Street

When: Oct. 23 through Oct. 27

What: City Parking Lot #1

Where: Corner of Somonauk Street and Elm Street

When: Oct. 23 through Oct. 27

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