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Fifth grader ready to ‘Wish Upon A Pumpkin’ for 2022 Sycamore Pumpkin Festival

SYCAMORE – Community members will be able to make their wishes on a pumpkin this October.

On Wednesday, “Wish Upon a Pumpkin” was announced as the theme of the 2022 Sycamore Pumpkin Festival.

The theme contest winner was Vivian Rubicz, an 11-year-old fifth grader from St. Mary’s School Sycamore. In her application, Rubicz wrote that she chose the theme because “it could really bring out the creativity in people.” This year, there were 122 total theme submissions from seven elementary schools.

Rubicz said she’s looking forward to the Pumpkin Fest parade and seeing the decorated pumpkins on the DeKalb County Courthouse’s lawn.

The 61st annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival will be held Oct. 26 through Oct. 30.

The two honorable mention students are Mason Clark, a first grader from Cornerstone Christian Academy, with the entry “Pumpkins on Vacation,” and Lennox Freeman, a kindergartener from Southeast Elementary School, with the entry “Pumpkin Magic.”

The winner of the theme contest received a $50 check, and the winner’s school receives a $100 check to be used for student enrichment. Honorable mention award winners received a $25 check. All three winners will cut the giant cake during the festival’s opening ceremony and will ride in the Pumpkin Festival theme winner vehicle in the parade. All 16 semi-finalists received a certificate of appreciation, post cards and a die-cast Pumpkin Fest toy car.

Jennifer Diehl, Pumpkin Fest’s theme committee chair, said that choosing a theme is important to the festival.

“An entire section of the pumpkins on display are based on the theme, and we ask entries in the parade to decorate to the theme,” Diehl said. “It gives everyone an idea of how to decorate for the festival.”

Terri Goodman, Pumpkin Fest’s president and parade co-chair, described the festival as a homecoming weekend.

“People have reunions, weddings, get-togethers during Pumpkin Fest weekend,” Goodman said. “It’s a Sycamore festival, but it goes beyond our town. It’s one of the biggest parades and one of the top 10 festivals in the state. The festival is a huge deal for Sycamore and the county.”