Fall traditions continue in Morton with a plentiful pumpkin crop

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MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The pumpkin capital of the world is gearing up for the 54th Annual Morton Pumpkin Festival.

“There are food pumpkins from all over the world, there are decorative pumpkins, there’s carving pumpkins,” said John Ackerman, owner of Ackerman Family Farms.

There’s no shortage of pumpkins at Acerkman Family Farms.

“By and large, the crops look really good,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman said he has faced some challenges this season, but overall he has a good crop.

“This year, the spring was better than the last year,” said Ackerman.

He said he has more than 30,000 pumpkins and is ready for a successful season.

“It’s a little slice of Americana. The pumpkin is kind of an iconic view of the fall harvest. This is the bounty,” said Ackerman.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Morton are finding ways to continue fall traditions.

“We said early on we’re going to reimagine our 54th pumpkin festival and we’re going to host in one way or another,” said Leigh Ann Brown, executive director of the Morton Chamber of Commerce.

The Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz festival starts Sept. 16. The festival is a fall staple for people across Central Illinois.

“Our core mission of the festival is to gather and give back. Certainly, gather will look different this year,” said Brown.

It’s a proud part of the village’s history.

“Having the Libby plant that makes 85 percent of the canned pumpkin right here in the heart of our community, means a lot,” said Brown.

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