The annual Morton Pumpkin Festival is a Central Illinois favorite and while our world looks a little different this year, the Morton Chamber of Commerce Pumpkin Festival Advisory Committee and Discover Peoria are committed to making this year's festival, Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz, just as amazing as it has been in the past. Below are some of most frequently asked questions about the 54th Festival, activities you and your family can participate in and how local businesses can get involved. 

Morton logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there going to be the 54th Festival this year?

The Morton Chamber of Commerce Pumpkin Festival Advisory Committee has announced their plans to host 2020 Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz. While the traditional Morton Pumpkin Festival will not be possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Restore Illinois plan restrictions for festivals in our current Phase 4, the Committee is jazzed to offer modified events and virtual opportunities this year. (Plan as of July 7, 2020)

When will it be held?

The official dates for Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz are Wednesday, September 16 - Saturday, September 19. Modified events and programs will begin in early August launching with the Great Pumpkin Pin Search on August 7 and ending with our new Closing Ceremony on the evening of Saturday, September 19.

What safety precautions are being taken?

Our events have been reimagined using the Restore Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity guidelines and with the input of the Tazewell County Health Department, Village of Morton, and Morton Police Department. This is a continually evolving situation, and we are following local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure the safety of our community and guests. We ask that you be respectful of other individuals and families and follow the guidelines that are listed for the event to make a fun and safe experience for everyone involved.

Will there be a carnival?

The following message was received from the Department of Labor, Amusements Division: "The Department is not inspecting Amusement Attractions due to the Governor’s guidelines for essential travel only. Currently, under Phase 3 and 4, no carnivals will be allowed to operate." However, just because there's no carnival doesn't mean we won't have options for family fun. Look for more information regarding a contest involving our mascot, Libby, and other opportunities to join our virtual Opening Ceremony from your own front yard or storefront.

Will I still be able to get Pumpkin Ice Cream or Pumpkin Pancakes?

Yes, our Pumpkin Drive-Thru on Detroit St. is being expanded to be the destination for your favorite pumpkin foods Thursday, September 17 - Saturday, September 19. Pick up your Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast at Jefferson School on Saturday morning. We are working with the Tazewell County Health Department and DCEO to confirm our plans and ensure we are meeting the Phase 4 Dining Guidelines. Certain items will again be provided by our local businesses, and we will be working with our businesses to provide even more "dine local" opportunities.

When should I put my lawn chair out for the Parade?

Good news - this year your parade seat will be from your own vehicle when you visit the Morton VFW to drive by our float displays and wave at 2020 Parade Marshal Doug Shull from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM on Saturday, September 19.

Where can I find pumpkin stuff, “Roaring Pumpkins” themed items, and giveaways?

Activities and events traditionally hosted on Festival grounds will instead be relocated to various local Chamber member businesses and partners. Our Business-In-Place Expo will encourage businesses to set up displays at their locations. The new Talk of the Town experiences will offer specialty themed foods, retail, and events hosted by Chamber member businesses. The Chamber’s Pumpkin Store is now open online and will be open at the Chamber office through September 19 during regular business hours. These programs will follow the Phase 4 Retail Guidelines.

Can I still run or walk in the Pumpkin Classic?

To promote social distancing, this year's Pumpkin Classic 10K and 2-mile will be hosted as a virtual event in accordance with the Youth and Recreational Sports Phase 4 Guidelines. Register to receive a unique Classic tech shirt. Registration is open!

My child’s been practicing for Pumpkin Idol and I've been baking up a storm for the Recipe Challenge - has all this work been in vain?

Idol Jr., the Recipe Challenge, and other competitions will be hosted safely by limiting large gatherings. Other events such as our Pin Search and Pumpkin Decorating will continue with some fun updates. Sporting events will follow the current guidelines of Phase 4 Youth and Recreational Sports Guidelines. Check www.mortonpumpkinfestival.org often as new event registrations will be added.

What does “Roaring Pumpkins” mean?

The theme evokes a celebration of Morton’s history with a special focus on the important events that occurred in the 1920s. New events, as well as new public art displays, will highlight this history and encourage the creation of new memories.

Where do I go if I have questions?

The Morton Pumpkin Festival website, mortonpumpkinfestival.org, is updated with details about each event. For other questions, call the Morton Chamber at (309) 263-2491. The Morton Chamber Office, 415 W. Jefferson St., will be open in July Monday - Thursday from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM and by appointment on Fridays.


How Can Chamber Businesses Participate in Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz?

2020 has been one for the books and your ongoing support of the Chamber has meant the world to us. During these times, we have made it our commitment to support our Chamber member businesses first and foremost through new programs, events, and other unique opportunities for Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz. Below are some of the ways you can begin not bring the fun to your businesses and reach new customers. Details are available at mortonpumpkinfestival.org with more to come!

Talk of the Town Specials (/talk-of-the-town)

We are launching a new program to showcase all the delicious food, unique products and services, and fun events our Chamber member businesses offer. Submitted specials will be listed on our website, social media, and in this year’s Guidebook.

  • TASTE OF THE 20s: From Monday, September 14 - Wednesday, September 16, our Chamber member restaurants and food and specialty shops will be serving up menu items in line with the Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz theme.

  •  GATSBY GOODS & SERVICES: For our Chamber member businesses with garments, attire, decor, services, and more - share your pumpkin goods, 20s-themed items, or your September specials with us!

  • SPEAKEASY SOIREE: For our Chamber members that want to host gatherings, parties, and open houses during the week of Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz. Events should be ticketed to adhere to local, state and federal guidelines. Passwords are welcomed, but not required!

Reverse Parade (/pumpkin-festival-parade)

Set up a float in this year’s Reverse Parade at the Morton VFW on Saturday, September 19 OR submit a heatresistant candy or fun handout for attendees’ goodie bags. Number of parade entries will be very limited.

Business-In-Place Expo (/pumpkin-business-expo)

Registration has just opened for our take on the Business Expo! Set up a display at your location to showcase your products and services from September 16-19. Decorate to the Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz theme to enter into the display Expo decoration contest. Businesses will also have the option to reserve a video recording spot to record a commercial or a demo that will be played through our channels.

All Jazzed Up Decoration Contest & Encore Closing Ceremony  (/the-encore-closing-ceremony)  

Get your storefront (or residence!) all jazzed up for this year’s fun. This is the time to showcase your creativity by decorating and lighting up your business for our new The Encore Closing Ceremony, hosted on Saturday, September 19 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The community will be encouraged to ride around town and enjoy all the displays lit up for “last act”. Elect to be judged or just participate for fun. Your business will be listed as a sight-tosee on our website! In partnership with Sucré Sweets and Socials, purchase an All Jazzed Up party decoration box with gorgeous 1920s themed decor and a few other surprises. Available now for preorder on our Online Store!

Retailer Logos (available on mortopumpkinfestival.org/talk-of-the-town)

We will also again be offering business and vendor logos available for purchase. The phrases “Morton Pumpkin Festival” and “Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz” as well as the accompanying logos are trademarked. These specially designed retailer logos will provide businesses the opportunity to use the Morton Pumpkin Festival on their products. This year’s special themed logo will be available to businesses at no charge.

Feeling creative? Here are some other fun ways you can engage with the Roaring Pumpkins fun!

Support Active Lifestyles: Offer a discount for anyone wearing a Pumpkin Pedal or Virtual Classic race shirt or bib or challenge your employees to participate!

Connect with the Kids: Welcome Flat Libby at your business by offering a special to anyone who brings her in or host another family-friendly activity!

Trivia Fun - For the new Virtual Trivia Night on Wednesday, September 16, offer trivia team packages or offer reserved tables for your trivia teams with specials

Celebrate History - Share fun facts about your business or industry’s history, especially if it has some 1920s flair or host a 1920s dress-up day at your office!

Feed the Festival Food Hunger - Food that will NOT be available at our Pumpkin Drive-Thru due to cost and Illinois Phase 4 Carnival restrictions: ribeyes, nachos, & carnival fair food and drink. Offer your takes on some Festival classics.

Parading Through Roaring Pumpkins Goodie Bags - Submit promotional coupons and fun swag items for families that attend our Reverse Parade or Kiddie Parade by September 1st. Heat-resistant candies and items only, please!

1920s Highlights - Use some of these facts about the 1920s to spur some of your own creative ideas!

  • The 1920's were the source of new, popular types of mass entertainment with radios, movies, and sports heroes... Movies became a daily part of American society and one of the biggest forms of entertainment during this decade. About 75% of Americans attended a movie theater weekly.

  • Jazz music became wildly popular in the “Roaring Twenties,” a decade that witnessed unprecedented economic growth and prosperity in the United States. Consumer culture flourished, with ever greater numbers of Americans purchasing automobiles, electrical appliances, and other widely available consumer products.

  • Boys would often play early baseball and other games such as cricket and handball. Girls would more often be playing jump rope, hopscotch, and creating songs and rhymes to play while the boys are playing their games. Pogo sticks, marbles, jacks, and yo-yos were also popular.

  • Phrases like “attaboy” and “bee’s knees”, as well as numerous other sayings, made this era highly identifiable for its unique language. 


For details on events as they are released, visit the website at www.mortonpumpkinfestival.org. Official Guidebooks will be available in late summer.

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to monitor the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) regionally and any potential impact it may have on our day-to-day operations, incoming conventiosn and events throughout the Peoria area. The health and safety of our region's residents and visitors is always our top priority. 

For more information on events going on in Central Illinois check out our website at www.peoria.org or consult our Discovery Guide