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Winners chosen in Pumpkin Fest writing contest

This years theme for the Sycamore Pumpkin Fest's drive-thru display at the Sycamore Community Park is appropriately masked pumpkins. Viewing will be Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 and judging of the pumpkins will be Oct. 23.
This years theme for the Sycamore Pumpkin Fest's drive-thru display at the Sycamore Community Park is appropriately masked pumpkins. Viewing will be Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 and judging of the pumpkins will be Oct. 23.

Six students have been named winners in the 2020 Sycamore Kiwanis Pumpkin Junior Parade Marshal writing contest.

A total of 80 students from Sycamore Middle School and St. Mary’s School submitted entries in the contest, which is divided into poem, story and theme categories. Students were asked to write about the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival theme, “Masked Pumpkins,” or about Halloween in Sycamore.

Contest winners usually ride on the Kiwanis float in the annual Pumpkin Festival parade, but the parade has been canceled this year because of the COVID-10 pandemic. The winners will receive cash awards.

Following are the winning entries.


Phoenix Calabrese

Eighth grade, Sycamore Middle School

Our Halloween Night

As the leaves change colors

And the weather gets colder

Apple cider in hand

A warm homemade pie set to cool

Pumpkins on the porch

What’s all this for

A special day is here

It’s a day of treats and scrumptious sugary sweets

A day known by children across the globe

A day where dreams come to life

A day our fantasies unfurl

On this day

Where you’re a superhero that saves the world

A princess that rules the distant Sugared Lands

A pirate that sails the great blue seas

A vampire that hides in the shadows

A werewolf that howls into the night

Anybody can be anything on this wondrous night

But as our world transforms

We must change with it

For this year

The streets will not be full

Of fantasies and frights

But instead with silence

On a cold fall night

But do not let that stop you

For our spirits live on

Our night shall not fall

While our streets may not fill with endless wonders and frights

Our homes will burst with spooks and delights

Our favorite characters

Will always live on

As long as we live with them

This is our Halloween Night


Samuel Eich

Sixth grade, Sycamore Middle School

Pumpkins in Masks

The pandemic is here.

But do not fear.

For ... as we all know.

Pumpkin Fest is near!

We want to be safe

And protect the human race.

So each of us – even the pumpkins,

Must cover our face!

When the pumpkins are close,

Having a nice marshmallow roast

They must do one task

By wearing a mask!

So let's all get ready

For a safe Pumpkin Fest

Because even in a pandemic ...

Sycamore is the BEST!


Noah Murcia

Sixth grade, Sycamore Middle School

The Unmasked Pumpkin

Once upon a time, there was a town called Pumpkin Town. All the pumpkins who lived there wore masks and were happy.

Six months ago, Pumpkin Town was struck with a virus, so everyone in town had to wear a mask. Everyone except The Unmasked Pumpkin. The Unmasked Pumpkin didn't want to wear a mask. He thought they were itchy and uncomfortable. Because he didn't wear one, everyone around him would roll away to stay safe.

Soon, it was two days before Halloween, and everyone joined in the fun. There was hide-and-seek in the pumpkin patch, and a hay maze. Everyone was having a good time. Everyone but The Unmasked Pumpkin because he was at home.

Finally, it was Halloween night! Everyone was out trick-or-treating and getting a bunch of candy. Everyone but The Unmasked Pumpkin. Finally he said, "Fine, I'll wear a mask." He went and put on his costume and put on his uncomfortable, itchy mask and went outside. He started trick-or-treating and while the mask might have been uncomfortable, he was enjoying himself and didn't even notice. Suddenly The Unmasked Pumpkin became The Masked Pumpkin.

The lesson: Stay safe, wear a mask, and have a happy Halloween.


Marcella Frazier

Sixth grade, Sycamore Middle School

The Great Masked Pumpkin

Thomas woke up feeling excited to look outside, opening his curtains without hesitation. He gasped at the sight of all the red, orange, and yellow leaves, and he loved watching them float down to blanket the yard. Thomas had been waiting forever to see the fall leaves because his mother promised they would pick out pumpkins to carve the day the leaves turned from green.

"Mom! The leaves changed colors!" Thomas shouted.

"Alright, how about we go get them now and carve them in the afternoon?" his mother negotiated with him.

1:06 PM

Thomas was eager to carve his pumpkins; he had so many ideas planned for what they could look like. When he finished carving, he knew something was missing.

"WAIT!" Thomas yelled. "I FORGOT ONE THING!" Thomas came downstairs holding a blue mask in his hand to put on the pumpkin. "He's a pumpkin; he needs to have a mask to keep him safe like everybody else does."

"You're right! But what should we name him?" his mom replied.

"How about the great masked pumpkin!" Thomas said brightly.

"That's a great name, Thomas."

Thomas's 'Great Masked Pumpkin' sat outside for the neighborhood to see.


Morgan Cook

Seventh grade, Sycamore Middle School

Halloween in Sycamore

Every year for as long as I can remember, Halloween in Sycamore has been filled with laughter and joy. Everyone comes together, like a great big family. Some people make pumpkins, others give away candy for the trick-or-treaters. Every year they have a huge parade, and businesses come together to hand out candy. They even have a carnival. Everyone has fun, and everyone has a good time.

You can see around Halloween time in Sycamore how everyone works hard to make Halloween awesome. The Lions Club even gives kids trick-or-treat boxes. Through all the hard work and dedication they put together a writing competition. The Lions Club and everyone who contributes makes Halloween in Sycamore the best it can be. Most towns just do trick-or-treating, but here in Sycamore, we do more. What can I say, life offers more in Sycamore.


Felipe Beharovic

Seventh grade, Sycamore Middle School

A Different Pumpkin Fest

It seemed as if nothing was real anymore. Just two years before Abe had won the "Pick of the Patch" for his local pumpkin festival, and now there wouldn't be any treats, any hot chocolate and most importantly no rides this year. It came as a shock to Abe because he loved going on the Ferris wheel with his friends, sipping on hot cocoa with the most scrumptious marshmallows in town and purchasing food at stands. It had all gone to waste because of this stupid pandemic.

"Why couldn't we just wear masks and have a ball? Everyone still wants Pumpkin Fest to be around," said Abe to his mother.

"Well – we still can! Minus the food and attractions of course," exclaimed Abe's mother with pride. But how? How could we possibly be able to pull it all off?

It was one week later and Abe was coming home from school when he saw the most astounding thing in the world.


While Abe was in was in school, his mother dunked their driveway in Pumpkin Fest madness There was a miniature Ferris wheel and pumpkins everywhere with masks on. It was amazing. Abe Thurow loved it.

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