About The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival


Join the official festivities October 6th to 8th in Downtown Highwood
Community Appreciation Night Thursday October 5th

HIGHWOOD, IL (OCTOBER 6-8, 2017)- Kick off the Fall season with The City of Highwood and Celebrate Highwood as they host The 8th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, October 6-8, in Downtown Highwood, benefitting Make-A-Wish Illinois, and sponsored by HGTV Magazine and Muller Auto Group. Last year’s Fest raised $60,000, with all proceeds donated to grant wishes for kids with life-threatening conditions in Illinois. Back bigger and better, Pumpkin Fest 2017 plans to double that figure and again attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 30, 851 for the largest display of lit jack-o'-lanterns. With a focus on the good will of the greater community, three local Make-A-Wish families will light the grand pumpkin wall ceremoniously each night tying it all together for 70,000+ attendees! It’s an event not to be missed!

Because EVERY SINGLE PUMPKIN COUNTS toward the grand total to break a world record, festival organizers are inviting the community to come and carve early October 2nd through 5th from 9 am – 9 pm, at City Hall (17 Highwood Ave.). And as an additional incentive, those who bring their own pumpkin onsite will receive free weekend admission. All lit jack-o-lanterns will be placed on pumpkin walls throughout the Festival grounds, with ceremonial wall lightings Friday and Saturday nights, and the grand lighting on Sunday evening. A $3/day per person admission and $5 for the weekend includes all-you-can-carve pumpkins.

This year will kick off with a Community Appreciation Night on Thursday evening, October 5th from 5 pm – 10 pm. With a relaxed atmosphere, this preview night features free admission, carnival rides, live music, a full bar and more. Celebrate Highwood welcome the community to come out, carve pumpkins and help fill the scaffolding before the event officially kicks off. The Highwood restaurants and bars will be open and many of our festival vendors will be open for business as well.

The official activity packed weekend will feature a full schedule of fun Friday through Sunday with: costume contests, pie eating contest, carnival, horse drawn hay rides, pony and camel rides, a petting zoo, kids crafts, three stages for music, food and beverages galore, the 2nd annual Superhero 5k Run/Walk honoring “Superman Sam” Sommer, Highwood resident and Make-A-Wish child that lost his battle with cancer in 2013, and more.

“Every year The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival event organizers come together to create a weekend for families that they will talk about for years to come,” says Eric Falberg, Highwood Alderman and President of Celebrate Highwood. “It is always rewarding to see attendees of all ages excited to attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 30, 851 for the largest display of lit jack-o'-lanterns, all while benefitting a great cause like Make-A-Wish Illinois.”

The weekend activities and events schedule will be constantly updated as activities are confirmed.

All the proceeds from The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival will go to Make-A-Wish Illinois. Additionally, generous sponsors such as HGTV Magazine, Muller Auto Group, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Go RVing, ComEd, Lake Shore Beverage and Bud Light, Banner Kitchen & Bath Showroom, 22nd Century Media, Foss Swim School, Goslings Rum, Happy Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Taste-A-Thon, Keiffer, Renewal by Andersen, Layer3TV, Music Gallery, Passante's Home Food Services and Comcast/Xfinity make Pumpkin Fest possible and there are many opportunities for additional businesses to sponsor as well!

For a complete list of musical performances visit http://highwoodpumpkinfest.com/schedule/.

To sign up to volunteer visit: https://www.highwoodpumpkinfest.com/volunteers/.

For more information on this fall weekend extravaganza, be sure to visit http://highwoodpumpkinfest.com and follow The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival on Facebook. Don’t wait until October to give back, donate now at Make-A-Wish Illinois.


Formerly, a collaboration between the City of Highwood and the Highwood Chamber of Commerce, the newly established 501(c)(3) Celebrate Highwood produces events that cater to the wants and needs of the citizens, businesses and visitors of Highwood. The goal is to build strong community spirit and establish Highwood as the prime entertainment destination for dining, festivals and events on the North Shore through inter-organizational collaboration, sharing resources and promoting the City as a wonderful place to live, eat and play. For more information on all of Highwood’s festivals, please visit www.CelebrateHighwood.org, www.facebook.com/celebratehighwood, or call 847-432-6000.


Make-A-Wish Illinois will grant more than 715 wishes to children across the state this year. Wishes are granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions such as cancer, organ transplants, genetic diseases and many more. Wishes can be an important part of the treatment process, empowering children to make decisions and providing strength to comply with medical treatments.

Since being founded locally in 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 14,000 wishes and continues its mission to share the power of a wish with children across the state. For more information or to find out how you can help, call 312.602.WISH or visit www.illinois.wish.org.


William Wallace Everts, a Chicago civic leader and world-renowned educator founded Highwood in 1868. His concept of a family-based community has endured for more than a century. The beautiful Everts Park, in the heart of downtown Highwood, has been named in the founder's honor. Benches and trees in the park celebrate and remember people who, through turbulent times and peaceful ones, built and sustained the community. Many of Highwood's street names recall Evert’s' family and friends whom the founder encouraged to build homes here. Residents of Swedish, Irish, Italian, Latino and other heritages have since populated the community, each enriching the community through their cultural traditions. The Village of Highwood was incorporated in 1887. The name briefly became Village of Fort Sheridan and then City of Fort Sheridan. In 1904, the community officially became known as the City of Highwood. Fort Sheridan, a former army base slightly northeast of the City, has had a profound influence on Highwood's development, and it continues to do so today as part of its land, incorporated into the City, nearly doubled Highwood in size. Today, Highwood is blending the past and present with exciting new plans for its future. The City of Highwood, IL administrative offices are located at 17 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, Illinois 60040. For more information, please visit www.cityofhighwood.com. Tel: 847.432.1924.

Make-A-Wish Illinois