Statue of Mr. Pumpkin.

Statue of Mr. Pumpkin

Field review by the editors.

Sycamore, Illinois

Wally "Mr. Pumpkin" Thurow was just a local businessman when he decorated his front lawn with pumpkins in October 1956. Somehow this triggered a passion for pumpkins in Wally, and by 1962 he'd convinced his hometown of Sycamore to host an annual pumpkin festival. 50 years later the festival was drawing 200,000 people a year.

Statue of Mr. Pumpkin.

Wally had moved to another state in 1979, but never failed to return for Pumpkin Fest, wearing a top hat and riding his signature high-wheel bicycle.

Wally died in 2012 ("complications from a bicycling mishap") but the town decided it wouldn't be Pumpkin Fest without him. A life-size bronze statue of Wally and his bike (cast from the actual bike) was created by David Seagraves and placed on the Pumpkin Fest parade route, at a spot where Wally would often stand and smile for photos.

At the statue's dedication on October 22, 2014, Sycamore's mayor said that Wally, "had a heart as big as a pumpkin."

Also see: Town Ambassadors

Statue of Mr. Pumpkin

Address:
W. Elm St., Sycamore, IL
Directions:
Downtown, on the corner of Somonauk and W. Elm Sts, one block south of Hwy 64.
Admission:
Free
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March 22, 2017

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