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4th Highwood Great Pumpkin Festival going for Guinness record

Pumpkinfest in Highwood, a North Shore suburb of Chicago.
Pumpkinfest in Highwood, a North Shore suburb of Chicago.
Christine Nyholm

The 4th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival is going for the Guinness record again this year during the weekend of Oct. 17-20, 2013. Highwood is a North Shore suburb of Chicago, ensconced between Lake Forest and Highland Park, Ill.

Great Pumpkin at Great Highwood Pumpkinfest in North Shore suburb of Chicago
Christine Nyholm

The Highwood Chamber of Commerce hosts the three day festival which offers family oriented fun while attempting to break two Guinness World records. The goal was not reached last year, but the people of Highwood are an ambitious bunch and are counting on each year's exponential growth to break the records.

Thrilled to host another record-breaking event in 2013, Highwood is attempting to break the Guinness World Records for Most People Carving Simultaneously (Thurs., Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.) and Most Lit Jack-O'Lanterns on Display (Fri. Oct. 18 at 8:30 p.m. and Sat. Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.) The rain date for Most Lit Jack-O'Lanterns on Display is Sun., Oct. 20.

The festival in Highwood offers a chance to be part of the record breaking fun while enjoying the fall celebration. Family-friendly activities include pumpkin carving, massive pumpkin displays, grand lighting ceremonies, hay rides, the light up the night parade, a pet costume contest, pumpkin pie eating contest, and 5K Pumpkin Run, Walk and Kids’ Dash and head shaving event to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization created to raise awareness and funding of childhood cancers. The festival will culminate with a 5K Run, Walk and Kids’ Dash on October 20th at 9am, also benefiting the Foundation.

Pumpkin Fest grounds are filled with seasonal food vendors, live music, pony rides, petting zoo, and much more. Join in the fun by carving pumpkins (for a small fee) and enjoying the seasonal activities in Highwood.

Culminating on Sunday, October 20th at 9am, the 5K Pumpkin Run, Walk and Kids’ Dash will bring some 1,000 participants to town in an effort to raise awareness and support for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Participants will run and walk from Waukegan Avenue and Walker, in front of The Bent Fork Bakery, while passing by more than 30,000 carved pumpkins to celebrate the season and to raise money and awareness for a great cause. Costumes are welcome! Beginning October 5th, the cost of the race will increase from $35 to $45 for Run/Walk and from $10 to $15 for the Kids’ Dash.

Online run registration will close Saturday, October 17th. Sign up at Highwood Pumpkin Run.