Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Pumpkin on wheels ‘Pick of the Patch’ in Sycamore

The 2013 "Pick of the Patch" winner was created by Max Law is diplayed on the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse on Thursday in Sycamore.
The 2013 "Pick of the Patch" winner was created by Max Law is diplayed on the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse on Thursday in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Out of more than 1,000 decorated pumpkins entered in the 52nd Sycamore Pumpkin Festival display contest, Max Law’s entry took home the top prize. 

On Thursday morning, the Southeast Elementary School student’s pumpkin became the “Pick of the Patch.” Law’s pumpkin was equipped with wheels and staged as riding down the road. Behind the pumpkin was poster featuring a U.S. map that highlighted Route 66.

It was the one entry that seemed to show the most individual effort out of all others for Peter Springmire, Sycamore Lions Club vice president. Springmire is one of three judges who decided the winning entry and the winners of all the other categories in the contest. 

“We looked at that one and we really liked the fact that we could see the individual had worked on it,” he said about Law’s pumpkin. “… We liked that it followed the theme of Pumpkin Adventures.” 

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival was originally inspired by founder Wally Thurow, also known as “Mr. Pumpkin.” Thurow, who used to show off decorated pumpkins on his own lawn, worked with the Sycamore Lions Club in creating a citywide pumpkin display contest that’s still popular. 

Entries for the pumpkin display contest exceeded 1,000 for about the third year in a row, said Ed Kuhn, Sycamore Lions Club member. 

“The kids still like to be creative and come down to the display,” he said. “It’s still a big draw in Sycamore. It’s a good family event and it’s all driven by nonprofits.” 

Each entry was judged within its own categories, which were divided by age group.

Kuhn said the contest has more than 30 categories. The pumpkins are judged on originality, creativity and if it seemed as if the children had designed them without a helping hand from mom or dad. 

The “Pick of the Patch” winner receives a $25 cash prize. First place winners in each category win $10 and a Culver’s gift certificate, second place winners win $8 and third place winners receive $5.

Kuhn said everybody who entered the contest got a coupon for a hot dog and drink from the Sycamore Lions Club food stand. 

Kuhn said the Sycamore Lions Club wants to thank all the children and the surrounding communities who participated in this year’s contest. 

“This display is what makes the festival,” he said. “Without it, there wouldn’t be a festival.” 

2013 Pumpkin Display Winners:

Pick of the Patch 

Max Law

President’s Award 

Evans family

School Participation

1st: Southeast Elementary

2nd: North Grove Elementary

3rd: North Elementary

Youth Organization or Group (17 and younger):

1st: Southeast Second- and Fourth-Grade Buddies 

2nd: Camelot NWCA

3rd: Southeast Kinders

Adult Organization or Group:

1st: Dewberry Architects & Engineers

2nd: Childrens Waiting Room

3rd: Barbed Wire Betties

Theme Category (Pumpkin Adventures) 

5 and younger

1st: Kaden Stadie

2nd: Jackson Hoffman

3rd: Trevin, Gavin & Brodin Kuhl

6 and 7 years old

1st: Jacob Hanson

2nd: Grace Amptmann

3rd: Madyson Block

8 and 9 years old

1st: Emily Bychowski

2nd: Caden Emmert

3rd: Olivia Byrd

10 and 11 years old

1st: Genna Gower

2nd: Allison & Ryan Polly

3rd: Julia Bowers

12 through 17 years old

1st: Griffin Gower

2nd: Emily Raetzke

3rd: Reed Kousoulas

Happy and Fancy

5 and younger

1st: Lily Hackbarth

2nd: Breann Perkins

3rd: Drew Malmassari

6 and 7 years old

1st: Caroline Harbecke

2nd: Madison Block

3rd: Annabella Simpson

8 and 9 years old

1st: Acelin Brahl

2nd: Abigail Slater

3rd: Zoe Flagg

10 and 11 years old

1st: Miles Kousoulas

2nd: Alexis Salapatek

3rd:Abi Payne

12 through 17 years old

1st: Anna Gosciejew

2nd: Selena Rodriguez

3rd: Courtney Mulligan

Weird, Ugly & Scary

5 and younger

1st: Luke Miller

2nd: Colton Prater

3rd: Josh Miller

6 and 7 years old

1st: Justin Forsbery

2nd: Anaya Decleene

3rd: Mason Jurewicz

8 and 9 years old

1st: Logan McCall

2nd: Dawson Alexander

3rd: Ethan Fischer

10 and 11 years old

1st: Jacob Hove

2nd: Tess Thompson

3rd: Michael Bautista

12 through 17 years old

1st: Keegan Palm

2nd: Kallie Beinarauskas

3rd: Nick Lockhart

TV, Nursery Rhyme

5 and younger

1st: Zach Ziegler

2nd: Noah & Benjamin Bradac

3rd: Gretchyn Dunbar

6 and 7 years old

1st: Kennedy McCoy

2nd: Johnny Lochbaum

3rd: Birghton Snodgrass

8 and 9 years old

1st: Kelli Petit

2nd: Trish McCoy

3rd: Sam Krull

10 and 11 years old

1st: Abby Krull

2nd: Izzy Nordstrum

3rd: Tucker Jendrysik

12 through 17 years old

1st: Lauren Jacobs

2nd: Katlyn Costello

3rd: Bruce Comer


7 and younger

1st: Addison Dierschon

2nd: Keera Trautdetter

3rd: Jeremy Kessel Jr.

8 and 9 years old

1st: Breanna Anderson

2nd: Danny Young

3rd: Addison Peck

10 and 11 years old

1st: Claire Dancey

2nd: Noelan Garbes

3rd: Jeremy Peterson

12 through 17 years old

1st: Bethany Aldis

2nd: Kortney Jones

3rd: Zak Geraci


11 and younger

1st: Zayne Adams

2nd: Braden Paulsen

3rd: Dylan and Kalob Kvapil

12 through 17 years old

1st: Neriah Garges

2nd: Madison Parks

3rd: Zak Geraci

Family Entry

1st: Parks and Thomas Kids

2nd: North Grove Crossings Townhomes

3rd: Megan Carrier & Family

Adults (Carved, Scarecrow, General)

1st: Susan Lloyd and Jennifer Ruft

2nd: Michael T. Figueroa

3rd: McKenzie Palm

Source: Ed Kuhn, Sycamore Lions Club Member

Loading more