MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — “Pumpkins, Tailgates, and Traditions.” That’s the theme for the 55th annual Morton Pumpkin Festival, which kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 15.
The event is hosted by the Morton Chamber of Commerce. Leigh Ann Brown, the chamber’s executive director, said the core mission of the festival is to gather and give back.
Brown said they will do this with a “Local Spotlight” section at the festival, plus a “Tour of the Town” activity.
She also said that each year, up to $25,000 is allocated to a local community project. In 2021, the chamber chose to add some amenities at Lakewood Park in Morton, a fishing pier and library “story walk.”
The 2020 festival was what Brown called a “reimagined festival,” meaning many of the activities were converted to an online or drive-through format.
Brown said the community missed the local traditions.
“We definitely heard a lot of those stories last year, of ‘oh, we miss our tradition of– fill in the blank,” Brown said. “It’s just been exciting to see and hear people excited ‘oh can’t wait to gather the family and be down for pancake breakfast,’ ‘can’t wait to be at our parade spot.'”
The festival kicks off Wednesday at 5 p.m. and admission to the grounds is free.