Pumpkin Festival
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Giving back

This year, the Morton Chamber of Commerce will direct a portion of the revenue generated from the 2019 Morton Pumpkin Festival to updates for Horseshoe Park.

 

The ground where Horseshoe Park currently sits has a long history of public use in Morton; it was part of the interurban railroad that connected Peoria to Bloomington and beyond from 1907-1953.

 

When the railway went out of service in 1953 the property was acquired by the Village of Morton and subsequently gifted to the Morton Park District in 1968.

 

In November 1968 the Park District Board of Commissioners decided to hold a public auction to sell the property, but when no bids were received the Park District decided to create Horseshoe Park, and four horseshoe pits were installed public use.

 

In 2001, two of the horseshoe pits were removed and a gazebo was installed for public seating.

 

Following almost two decades of minimal use, the Morton Park District is now planning to remove the last two horseshoe pits and create a natural landscaped area with added public seating.

 

The native plants that will be planted will aid the local pollinator population as well as create an aesthetically pleasing gathering area for the public.

 

This property has sat along the annual Pumpkin Festival Parade route throughout its existence, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

 

The Morton Pumpkin Festival’s core function is community enhancement for the Village of Morton and the Morton Chamber of Commerce. In addition to using festival revenue to support general operations, the Morton Chamber of Commerce donates tens of thousands of dollars each year to other local non-profit organizations that assist in the operations of the festival, including:

 

2012 — $46,793 (Special Project: Downtown Memorial Plaza - $25,000)

2013 — $41,062.26 (Special Project: Idlewood Arts Pavilion - $25,000)

2014 — $46,564.37 (Special Project: Veterans Memorial - $25,000)

2015 — $46,152.22 (Special Project: Birchwood Park Softball Complex - $25,000)

2016 — $31,016.61 (Special Project: Library Book Drop & Downtown Flower Pots - $14,714.61)

2017 — $39,074.13 (Special Project: Idlewood Large Picnic Shelter $20,000)

2018 — $38,740 (Special Project: Jefferson School Playground $10,000)