SYCAMORE – Pumpkin Adventures.
That is the theme of the 52nd annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, which will be held Oct. 23 to 27.
The winning entry was submitted by Savanna Dean, 7, a first grader at North Grove elementary school.
“She chose that theme because ‘pumpkins can be turned into many things and go on adventures like characters from a book or more,’” festival committee member Jennifer Diehl said at a press conference at the DeKalb County Courthouse May 15.
“She just came up with it out of the blue,” her mother, Cindy Dean, said. “She did it two days before it was due. Once she got her mind set on it, it opened the floodgates.”
Cindy said her daughter is really into reading, which inspired her award-winning theme.
“It was cool,” Savanna said about winning. She was one of 133 Sycamore school students who submitted an idea for the annual contest.
Festival chairman Jerry Malmassari said the committee chose 18 semi-finalists, which was narrowed down to three before the winner was chosen. “We chose the most workable theme,” he said.
The two honorable mention themes were Pumpkin Community, by Sophia Teran, 9, a third grader from Southeast, and Pumpkin Possibilities, by Maxim Breidenbach, 9, a third grader at South Prairie.
Savanna got a $50 check and the two runners-up each got a check for $25. Savanna’s school also got a $100 check to be used for educational purposes.
The Dean family, which just moved to rural Sycamore two years ago, have a pumpkin patch on their property. “We’ll have to grow a big pumpkin this year,” Cindy said.