Morton Pumpkin Festival returns for its 55th year

Wayne Menold has been named the grand marshal of the 2021 Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade. (Photo courtesy of Morton Pumpkin Festival)

In 1967, the first Morton Pumpkin Festival was organized by the Morton Chamber of Commerce as an annual fundraiser and celebration of the beginning of the pumpkin harvest and canning season at the local Libby’s Pumpkin Plant.

In 1978, the governor of Illinois signed a proclamation that Morton was the “Pumpkin Capital of the World” since 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin was processed at their Libby’s Pumpkin plant.

Today, the Morton Pumpkin Festival includes over 30 special events and venues hosted and organized by over 1,500 volunteers. The festival welcomes an estimated 75,000 visitors. Each year, a theme for the festival is selected through a voting process by community members and the Morton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The festival is governed by the Morton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a Pumpkin Festival Advisory Committee that includes Chamber board members, community leaders, and Festival chairs.

The 30-plus events and venues that occur during the Festival are organized by Chamber members and community volunteers. Each activity has one or several volunteer chairs along with volunteer team members.

In 2012, Libby’s Pumpkin became the official sponsor for the Morton Pumpkin Festival.

“Morton Pumpkin Festival: Celebrating 50 years, 1967 – 2016” history book is available at the Morton Public Library.

For a full schedule of events, go to

Morton Pumpkin Festival porch flags are available for purchase online at the Pumpkin Store or stop in to the Morton Chamber of Commerce office at 415 W. Jefferson St, Morton. (Photo courtesy of Morton Pumpkin Festival)

The Pumpkin Store offers everything needed to celebrate all things pumpkin before, during, and after the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Whether it’s clothes, souvenirs, or other merchandise, there is something for everyone at the Pumpkin Store.

For collectors, we will again have our theme-related lapel pin and coffee mug.

Pumpkin Store at Morton Chamber of Commerce
Location: 415 W. Jefferson St., Morton

  • Tuesday, Sept. 7 – Friday Sept. 10: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 13: 10 a.m. – 7 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Pumpkin Store at the Morton Pumpkin Festival
Location: Merchandise Tent on Festival grounds.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 15:  4 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 16: 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 17: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 18: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.