About The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival


10th Annual Extravaganza to Benefit Make-A-Wish Illinois, October 11-13, 2019
Community Appreciation Night Thursday, October 10th

HIGHWOOD, IL (OCTOBER 11-13, 2019)- Kick off the Fall festival season with friends and family with The City of Highwood and Celebrate Highwood as they host the The 10th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, October 11-13, in Downtown Highwood, benefitting Make-A-Wish Illinois, and sponsored by HGTV Magazine and GEICO. The last three Pumpkin Fests have raised $140,000 to help grant wishes for kids with critical illnesses in Illinois. To commemorate 10 years, Pumpkin Fest 2019 would love to double that donation. With a focus on the good will of the greater community, three local Make-A-Wish families will host each night’s ceremonial pumpkin wall lighting tying it all together for 70,000+ attendees!

Because EVERY SINGLE PUMPKIN COUNTS to make the displays grand, festival organizers are inviting the community to BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) for free entry to the fest, and come out early to help carve and fill the walls for the Prelude to Pumpkin Fest, October 7-10 from 3:30–9 p.m., at City Hall (17 Highwood Ave.). Attendees can continue bringing pumpkins all weekend long for the duration of the Fest as well. An attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 30, 851 for the most pumpkins carved and lit at once has always been a fun goal, but in 2019, Highwood is emphasizing community coming together more than ever!

As always, Pumpkin Fest will host fan favorite activities including: all you can carve pumpkins, trick or treating, costume contests, petting zoo, carnival rides, kids crafts, three stages jam packed with live music, food and beverage vendors galore, a Superhero 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk on October 12th at 9 am honoring “Superman Sam” Sommer, a Highwood resident and Make-A-Wish child that lost his battle with cancer in 2013 and much more. Join Highwood as it transforms into Cinderella City with nightly grand pumpkin wall light displays coupled with community camaraderie, raising money to grant wishes for Make-A-Wish Illinois!

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 $5/day per person admission, children 10 and under free, that includes all-you-can-carve pumpkins.

Recognizing the amazing community as an integral part in pulling this event off, Celebrate Highwood is once again hosting a Community Appreciation Night on Thursday, October 9th from 4–10 p.m. With a relaxed atmosphere, this preview night features free admission and live music. Carnival rides and a full bar will highlight and Highwood restaurants, bars and many festival vendors will be open for business as well.

Celebrate Highwood, a 501(c)(3) with the mission of raising funds for worthy non-profit organizations through its festivals and events, presents this annual event to benefit Make-A-Wish Illinois. Additionally, generous sponsors such as HGTV Magazine, GEICO, Forest Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Xfinity, Lakeshore Beverage, Goslings Rum, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Foss Swim School, Midwest Gutter Guard, The Great Oregon Wine Company, DeMuth Inc., The Home Improvement Network, Oberweis, Passante's Home Food Services, Banner Kitchen & Bath Showroom, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Waterloo Sparkling Water, 22nd Century Media, and more make Pumpkin Fest possible and there are many opportunities for additional businesses to sponsor as well!


Celebrate Highwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity established in August 2016. Managed and operated by volunteers, our mission is to bring the community together to raise funds for local and national charities. Through producing events that cater to the citizens, businesses and visitors of Highwood, our goal is to give back, build strong community spirit, and establish Highwood as THE prime entertainment destination for dining, festivals and events on the North Shore. For more information on all of Highwood’s festivals, please visit www.CelebrateHighwood.orgwww.facebook.com/celebratehighwood, or call 847-432-6000.


Make-A-Wish Illinois will grant more than 720 wishes to children across the state this year. Wishes are granted to children with critical illnesses. 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 15,000 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