Pumpkin Festival
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Morton mixing pumpkins and shamrocks for this year’s Pumpkin Festival

By Mike Kramer
Pekin Daily Times


Area residents who attend the Peoria Erin Feis later this month should reconsider putting away their kilts and snap-brim hats until St. Patrick’s Day.


Irish attire will be very much in keeping with the theme of this year’s Morton Pumpkin Festival: Luck O’ the Pumpkins. The festival will be held Sept. 11 through Sept. 14 on the grounds of Jefferson Elementary School.


“The (Pumpkin Festival) Advisory Committee meets to come up with four or five different ideas for theme names and a survey is sent out to the community and attendees after (each year’s) festival,” said Leigh Ann Brown, executive director of the Morton Chamber of Commerce in an email to the Pekin Daily Times. “One of the questions asked is for input on the next year’s theme, giving respondents the opportunity to vote on one of the themes or to come up with their own theme suggestion.”


The entertainment line-up will feature Irish music by The Bogside Zukes and The Turas, as well as a performance by the Flynn School of Irish Dance, according to Brown. She encouraged contestants in the Pumpkin Princess Pageant to wear festival-themed attire and added that participants in the Libby’s Recipe Challenge to develop recipes that reflect the Luck O’ the Pumpkins theme. The parade on Sept. 12 will include Irish-themed floats, and the window decorating and pumpkin decorating contests will both incorporate the use of the theme.


New attractions for this year’s festival include a