SYCAMORE – Expect to see some pumpkin inventions on the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn this October.
The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee announced the 2014 festival theme contest winners for the 53rd annual event Tuesday on the courthouse lawn. "Pumpkin Inventions" was chosen as this year's theme, submitted by fourth-grader Hannah Sebby, 9, of Southeast Elementary School. Sycamore students could submit an idea for the theme to be considered. Hannah's entry was chosen out of 137 submissions.
Emma Winters, of St. Mary's Catholic School, and Avery Huml, of West Elementary School, were named as honorable mentions.
Hannah received $50 and her school received $100 for school enrichment. Hannah, Emma and Avery were invited to ride in the theme winner vehicle during the festival parade Oct. 26.
"I'm happy and shocked," Hannah said.
Hannah's mother, Andrea Sebby, said Hannah thought last year's theme was Pumpkin Inventions, but it was actually Pumpkin Adventures.
"So she thought Pumpkin Inventions would be a good idea for this year and she submitted it," Andrea Sebby said.
It was Hannah's first year participating in the contest.
“We hope the kids had as much fun writing the themes as we did reading them,” committee President Jerry Malmassari said.
Theme committee chairwoman Jennifer Diehl said the committee meets monthly and will begin prepping for next year with its first meeting for 2015 the day of the parade.
“Having the theme helps people decide how to decorate their pumpkins,” Diehl said. “We can also get brochures and everything else ready.”
Malmassari said the Wally Thurow Tribute Committee is still seeking donations to erect a statue in honor of Mr. Pumpkin, the founder of the festival, who died in 2012. He said the group hopes to have the statue ready for this year's festival.
For information about 2014 Pumpkin Festival, visit sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
For information about the Wally Thurow Tribute committee, contact MrPumpkinStatue@gmail.com.