Mount Carroll’s downtown will turn into the pumpkin capital of northwest Illinois on Saturday, October 25, during the Mount Carroll Pumpkin Fest.
Organized by the Chamber of Commerce, the event will offer a variety of family-friendly activities which kick off at 8 a.m. with the Farmer’s Market.
Starting at 10 a.m., a variety of food vendors will be on hand offering fall favorites such as caramel apples and an assortment of pumpkin goodies.
Pumpkin artists of all ages are encouraged to enter the pumpkin decorating contest and entries will be on display next to the sidewalk on the courthouse lawn all day.
Participants can register their pumpkin works of art at the Chamber Information Tent starting at 10 a.m. where visitors can also get a ballot to vote for the prize winners, which will be announced at 4 p.m.
Love to dress up your pet? Bring your furry friend to the courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. for the ‘Great PUPkin Mutt Strut’ pet costume contest sponsored by the Mount Carroll Veterinary Clinic. All pets in costume are welcome but must remain leashed.
From noon to 4 p.m. the old burning grounds at the bottom of West Market Street becomes a target range for the Pumpkin Sling Shot competition where participants can test their strength and see how far they can shoot pumpkins of various sizes using the 3-person sling shot.
Starting at 12:30 p.m., kid-friendly Halloween stories will be featured at the Mount Carroll Public Library as they host a Halloween Story Hour for children ages 4-8.
The fun continues at 2 p.m. during the 3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Street Drags sponsored by Kunes Country Auto Group.
Cash prizes are awarded in five different competition brackets where real pumpkins, fashioned into racing machines, speed down Rapp Street next to City Hall.
Pumpkins are mounted on any kind of chassis or have wheels on independent axles and participants are encouraged to be creative because prizes are also awarded for Best Decoration and Most Innovative Design.
Sign-up for the Great Pumpkin races starts at 1 p.m. at the registration table in front of City Hall.
At 2:30 p.m. the Mount Carroll Bowling Center carries the “everything pumpkin” theme even further as they offer their version of pumpkin bowling on the street directly in front of the Bowling Center.
In between enjoying the many activities, visitors are encouraged to stroll around the downtown and check out the decorated lampposts and then stop at the Chamber Information Tent to vote for their favorite, with the winner announced after Oct 31.
All day the Mount Carroll Foundation Pumpkin Family will take up residence in the Chamber tent where for $1 or seven chances for $5 you can enter the contest to guess the total weight of the Pumpkin Family. The winner of the $100 grand prize will be announced at 4 p.m.
After enjoying dinner at one of Mount Carroll’s eateries, finish off the day at “A Night at the Cemetery” by taking the Mount Carroll Historic Cemetery Tour.
The wagon starts loading in the parking lot behind the Mount Carroll Pharmacy at 5:45 p.m. and a $5 ticket can be purchased at Riverview Antiques/Tina’s Ice Cream Shoppe.
This tour of Oak Hill Cemetery tells the stories of some of Mount Carroll’s most colorful characters and historic figures and will be narrated by local historian and Mayor of Mayfest, Wayne Brooks.
Looking for something scarier? Raven’s Grin Inn, the well-known year-round haunted house, is at its peak this time of year and offers the best in Halloween fun.
For more information on any of the events going on during Mount Carroll Pumpkin Fest, go to the Mount Carroll Chamber website, www.mtcarrollil.org, or call event chair Diane Bausman at 815-275-4868.
Download Pumpkin Fest Schedule of Events Here!