The Morton Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the community to gear up and get ready for town's Pumpkin Festival coming in September.
According to a Pumpkin Festival news release, the festival's online store is officially open, and it features the 2019 Luck O' the Pumpkins pin, Irish coffee mugs, shirts and more. Presently, those interested can only pick-up merchandise or have it delivered. They also must pay online with a credit card. To offer longer shopping hours this year Sept. 3-10, festival merchandise will be for sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Morton Legion at 24 E. Adams St.
People may now visit www.mortonpumpkinfestival.org to register for the following festival events and competitions:
Thursday, Sept. 5
Pumpkin Idol Jr.
Pumpkin Idol Jr. is a singing competition for children 8 to 12 years old.
It "gives young talent an opportunity to showcase and fine-tune their skills in front of a large audience," stated the release.
Preliminaries will be on Sept. 5, at Potter's Alley, 628 W. David St. The competition will be on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Gold’s Gym Entertainment Stage.
The festival invites junior chefs, home cooks and professional to submit their best pumpkin recipes for the Recipe Challenge competition.
Saturday, Sept. 7
Pumpkin Tennis Open
People can bring a partner or play solo for this day activity.
The Pumpkin Pedal 5-mile ride tours Morton's downtown, with a portion of raised funds going to support Midwest Food Bank's food packaging program, Tender Mercies.
Sunday, Sept. 8
The Pickleball Tournament is a new event for players of all skill levels.
Children in first through sixth grade will ride small, motorless cars in this coasting race. Participants may bring their own car. Cars will be provided to participants without one.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
Big Wheel Race
Children 10 years old or younger can ride in the Big Wheel Race with their own vehicle or with one provided to them.
"Participating in these events and enjoying festival food and fun helps support the festival give-back mission of supporting many non-profits, youth groups, and community projects," stated the release.
The festival will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11 through Saturday, Sept. 14.
"The Morton Pumpkin Festival generates resources to allow the Morton Chamber of Commerce to fulfill their mission to strengthen business and enhance community, at a superior level, through the implementation of a unique event that builds a sense of community among the people who live and work in Morton," stated the release.
For more information, call 309-263-2491 or visit the festival's website.