Sycamore Park District this year’s ‘Friend’ of the festival

SYCAMORE – This year’s friend of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival will be no single person, but a whole park district. 

The Sycamore Park District, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, was chosen as this year’s “Friend of the Festival” by the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee. Each year, the committee selects an individual, a business or an organization that has shown itself to be an outstanding force in the community and supporter of the festival. 

Jerry Malmassari, president of the committee, said the park district was chosen because it assisted with different projects over the year and allowed the festival to use district resources such as golf carts and park property. It has also partnered with the committee during several festivities. 

“They’ve been a participating group and we chose them to say ‘thank you’ for all their service,” Malmassari said. 

Dan Gibble, park district executive director, said it is an honor for the district to be chosen because the people who work there believe in supporting events that help the community and local businesses. He said this selection will have a positive effect on the district. 

“I’ve only been here a little over a year and it made me really happy,” Gibble said. “I felt like that showed the (Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee) felt strongly about the park district’s contribution to the community.”

Denis Jagodzinski from American Family Insurance in Sycamore was chosen as the “Friend of the Festival” last year.

Malmassari said the festival will hold the same events it has held in the past. Some of them include the pumpkin check-ins, a treasure mart at Sycamore High School, craft shows and a pie-eating contest sponsored by Sycamore Kiwanis Club. There also will be musical acts for people to see, he said. 

The park district will have a float in the festival parade, Gibble said. He said some of the board members will ride in the float. He also said the district is working behind the scenes on a unique entry for the parade. 

“There’s one particular demonstration that we’re quietly and secretly working on,” Gibble said. “... We want it to be a relative surprise.” 

Malmassari said the festival is set for Oct. 23-27. 

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