The Morton Pumpkin Festival is a four-day event held every September in Morton, Illinois. Organized by the Morton Chamber of Commerce it attracts about 75,000 visitors annually. Morton was called the “Pumpkin Capital of the World” since it hosted the Nestle's Libby pumpkin plant, producing about 80% of the world's canned pumpkin. The first Morton Pumpkin Festival was organized in 1967 as an annual celebration of the pumpkin harvest season.
The Morton Pumpkin Festival wouldn't be complete without a parade. The massive Pumpkin Festival Parade is held on Saturday at 10:30 am. The parade of over 100 entries and colourful floats marches along Jefferson Street. With marching bands, vintage cars, and popular children’s characters, the parade is a favourite event for many festival-goers. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange to celebrate the pumpkin season.
Pumpkin Festival in Morton features about 30 special events and a large carnival. Operated by Big M Amusements, the carnival offers a large choice of rides and games for all ages. There are also famous festival foods like elephant ears, corn dogs, pumpkin doughnuts, funnel cakes, and lemon shake-ups.
The festival also features lots of contests: Pumpkin Decorating & Pumpkin Pin Search, LIBBY's Pumpkin Recipe Challenge, Pumpkin Princess Pageant, Precious Baby & Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, and others. Entertainment includes live music acts. The Morton Pumpkin Festival carnival is one of the significant fall events in Illinois for many families.