SYCAMORE – The 2020 Sycamore Pumpkin Festival theme has been announced, and the kindergartner who chose it is determined to celebrate the fun even during an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme is "Masked Pumpkins" and was thought up by Owen Anderson, a kindergartner who is home-schooled, according to a news release from the Pumpkin Festival Committee.
The committee said Anderson chose the theme because "Everybody's been wearing face masks because of coronavirus. And it is fun to wear superhero masks and other fun masks."
It's unclear whether the 59th annual popular pumpkin family-fun festival will continue as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn't stop the committee from handing out prizes to the theme winner and runner-ups at an announcement ceremony in front of the "Mr. Pumpkin" Wally Thurow statue in downtown Sycamore this week.
Anderson received a $50 check and will get a ride in the Pumpkin Fest theme winner vehicle in the festival's parade.
The two honorable mentions – Grace Caldwell, a third-grader at North Elementary whose theme was "Essential Pumpkins" and Mia Jenke, a fourth-grader at Southeast Elementary with "Pumpkins Across the Globe" – received a $25 check and a ride in the parade.
Organizers on the Pumpkin Festival's social media page said decisions regarding this fall's festival, or whether to extend the theme to next year instead, still are being made.
The Sycamore Music Boosters voted to cancel its Sycamore Autumn Craft & Treasure Market for 2020, held in conjunction with Pumpkin Fest, because of the pandemic and concern for public health.