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Highwood, IL to attempt Guinness Record for most jack-o-lanterns lit in one location



There must be a thousand ways to break a Guinness World Record, and most are easier than this.

The city of Highwood, Illinois will light the night for Halloween this year. If all goes well, they will also end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most jack-o-lanterns lit in one location. To break the record, this little town of about 5,000 residents needs to beat Boston's record of 30,128 pumpkins aglow in 2006.

Starting Wednesday October 20, 2010, thousands of volunteers will be carving, staging and lighting candles in pumpkins, culminating in a whopping 32,000 simultaneously-lit pumpkins for the record-breaking grand lighting at precisely 6:30 p.m. (central time) on Saturday October 23rd.

Pumpkin walls are already in place with tiered racks to hold the massive number of pumpkins. To qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, all 32,000 must remain lit together for a minimum five-minute period.

Other concurrent events include an Evening Gourmet Farmers Market at Highwood's City Hall Park, vendors selling antiques, live music, a haunted fun house, and of course, a pumpkin pie eating contest.

Pumpkin farmers from across the Midwest are bringing thousands of pumpkins and carving events are organized en masse at every school, religious and community organization and local military base in this area north of Chicago. The ghosts of all those pumpkins will be composted after the celebration.

The Highwood, Illinois festival is also dedicating Scout Park to the Boy Scouts of America and will have 100 Scout packs and troops, as well as veterans and local military on hand for three days of recognition, to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project. Highly motivated by this huge celebration, the local Scout troops are pitching in to carve 10,000 of the pumpkins required to beat the world record.

If you're in the Chicago area and see a strange glow in the sky on October 23, besides the full moon, it just might be the Great Pumpkin victory, as Highwood, Illinois breaks the world record.

Helen Gallagher writes about business, technology, and travel for national consumer and trade publications. She is the author of Social Media Handbook and Release Your Writing: Book Publishing, Your Way! Read her blog on Red Room.

Filed under: Arts and Culture, Festivals and Events, North America, United States

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