SYCAMORE – Dempsey Webb, 6, of Sycamore smiled wide and jumped up and down when she was named the winner of the 2018 Sycamore Pumpkin Festival theme contest during the announcement ceremony Wednesday.
Dempsey, a kindergartners at North Grove Elementary School, said she was “really, really happy” that she won this year’s contest, which has been held for Sycamore elementary school students since 1976. She said she chose the theme “A Pumpkin’s Carnival” because she thinks everybody would enjoy carnivals.
“I did not think I would win,” Dempsey said. “There were so many kids up there.”
Dempsey was one of 201 entries this year from all seven elementary schools in the city, Jennifer Diehl, the vice president and theme director for the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee, said. Diehl said three entries were chosen from each school, which were the
19 semifinalists, and then the two honorable mentions and winner were chosen from those semifinalists.
Diehl said that Dempsey wrote in her submission that she chose the theme because “there are lots of rides and games to play, and carnivals are fun.”
“A lot of times, the theme is cute, but the ‘because’ really supports it,” Diehl said.
Dempsey received a $50 check, along with a postcard set and a drawstring backpack, and will take a ride in the winner’s car during this year’s parade. The festival begins Oct. 24, according to its website.
Since Dempsey won, her school will receive a $100 check to be used for student enrichment, Diehl said.
The two honorable mentions went to North Elementary first-grader Anthony Massey with his entry of “Pumpkin Extravaganza” and Southeast Elementary fourth-grader Broden Pesek with his entry of “Pumpkins Take the Stage.” Both of them received a $25 check and they will also be riding in the parade.
Ben Webb, Dempsey’s father, said he was happy for her after the announcement ceremony in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse, 133 W. State St.
“I know she was looking forward to it,” Webb said. “I know she’s going to be talking about it for a long time.”