Highwood festival attempts jack-o’-lantern record for a good cause

HIGHWOOD, Ill. — Even on a drizzly day, the good folks of north suburban Highwood can carve out a good time at the 9th annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival.

Lining the city streets are walls of jack-o'-lanterns, thoughtfully crafted by locals taking a stab at being a part of history.

"It brings out the kid in you; you can carve all day," said Eric Falberg, Celebrate Highwood.

The city was aiming for the Guinness World Record of the most lit jack-o-lanterns at one time, Falberg said, carving and lighting a total of 30,851 pumpkins. Money raised along with the event goes to Make-a-Wish Illinois, with a goal of raising $120,000 to make dreams come true for kids in need.

"The families go through a lot there’s so many things that they have to do with the child," said Mike Mrozek, a Make-a-Wish granter. "The hospitals, doctors, just everything; it doesn’t affect just the child, but it affects the whole family."

As for that world record - it seems likely they will come up short, even as the walls of jack-o'-lanterns reach higher and higher into the sky. Either way, it all goes towards a good cause.

The pumpkin lighting takes place at 7:45 p.m. Sunday, and the festival runs through 9 p.m.