Pumpkin Festival Parade

One of the premier events at the Morton Pumpkin Festival is the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade.  Held Saturday morning at 10:30 am, the parade boasts over 100 entries including floats, marching bands, antique vehicles, and popular children's characters.  The parade begins at the corner of Nebraska and Jefferson and travels west toward the Morton Post Office on Jefferson Street.  Children and grandchildren will particularly enjoy this family-oriented event.  Don’t forget to bring a bag to collect candy and toys distributed by the various parade entries.  And please wear orange if you can!  An official “Orange Out” t-shirt will be available at the Chamber’s Pumpkin Store.  

Stop by our Parade Donut Stands.  The bright blue Pepsi wagons, located in key spots along Jefferson Street, will sell pumpkin donuts, Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, coffee, milk, and cold beverages.  Hosted by Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC) this is the perfect way to enjoy a taste of the Morton Pumpkin Festival while also supporting a local non-profit organization.

If you can't join us in person, parade streaming will be live on this website.

2016 Parade Information

The 2016 Pumpkin Festival Parade will be on Saturday, September 17, at 10:30 am. Deadline for entries is August 21.  Date of registration will be taken into consideration when assigning line-up numbers.  All units must be pre-registered.  Read the parade rules and regulations listed below carefully.

Grand Prize float winner receives $500.  First place commercial and non-commercial floats receive $200 each.

Suggested Donation Fee Schedule
Morton Chamber of Commerce Members:  $25.00*
Non-Member, Non-Profits & Clubs:  $35.00*
Non-Members, All Others:  $50.00*
School Marching Bands:  FREE
Military and Veteran Groups:  FREE
Pumpkin Festival Event Entries:  FREE


*If your business or organization has multiple entries, pay one fee for all entries.  This fee schedule is a suggested donation to the Morton Pumpkin Festival to help cover the costs of the parade operations.  Fees are not mandatory.  If your business or organization is unable to pay the suggested donation, please feel free to contribute what you can towards our event costs.



The parade will begin at Lincoln School, corner of East Jefferson and Nebraska, and head west on Jefferson Street.  All entrants except floats wishing to be judged and bands report no later than 9:45 am.  All arriving entrants should proceed south on Nebraska, and you will be directed to your line-up position from there. 

Floats wishing to be judged report no later than 8:45 am.

Email mkull@mortonillinois.org if you need an entry form mailed to you.

Parade Rules & Regulations

All units must be pre-registered and include a description of their entry.  Pre-registration also includes providing the name and mobile phone number of the “Responsible Person” concerning the parade entry.  The Responsible Person is required to be familiar with these parade rules and regulations, is responsible for the entry’s adherence to them, and be on-site with the parade entry on the day of the parade. 

All participants must abide by all rules and regulations.  If you have special concerns, please email the Chamber office.

Parade entries must be decorated to the 2016 theme "Golden Pumpkin - Celebrating 50 Years".

No weapons or items resembling a weapon.  If you are in doubt about whether something is a weapon or resembles a weapon, please do not bring it to the parade. If you bring such items, you will be kindly asked to put the items away during the parade.

Float entries must be on a hayrack or flatbed trailer.

All walkers must be 8 years old or older.  Younger children can safely ride on floats or be pushed/pulled in strollers or wagons accompanied by an adult.  For safety, please make sure walkers stay a safe distance from vehicles and floats at all times.

Entries must keep their unit moving along the parade route and must keep a distance of no more than 30 feet between their unit and the entry in front of them.

No literature may be distributed.  

Candy or toys may be distributed as follows:

-No candy or toys can be thrown from a float, car, truck, or tractor.
-Candy or toys may be thrown into the crowd by people walking alongside an entry.
-Walkers must be a minimum of 5’ away from an entry when throwing candy or toys.
-Entries should not stop along the route for candy/toy throwers to refill their containers.


Antique and custom vehicles may enter individually or as part of a group with a limit of 5 vehicles for any one group.  Antique tractors pulling a float will be counted as part of the float entry.

Marching/Walking units are limited to:

▪ Morton Boy Scout or Girl Scout Club
▪ Marching Band
▪ Flag or Rifle Corp
▪ Military/Veteran’s organization
▪ Politicians, as noted by rules regarding political entries


Semi units are not permitted in the parade.

Animal units are required to have their own cleanup system and/or crew.

Commercial Vehicles may enter the parade if they are:

-Pulling a float decorated to festival theme.
-Being used by a non-profit Morton organization and are decorated to festival theme.
-Being used by approved dignitary.


Area politicians may enter as a separate unit or may ride on the float/entry for their party.  This includes State Senators, State Representatives, Judges, Regional/County offices, and local offices.

No inflammatory, negative, or profane language or messaging

No scary costumes

No flips, back-hand-springs, or acrobatics of any kind

No provocative clothing, displays, or signage

Do not leave any personal items in Lincoln School's bathrooms at the beginning of the Parade route. The schools will be locked up as soon as the parade finishes stepping off.

Parade officials reserve the right to restrict, limit, or reject (at any time including during the parade) any entry that in the sole determination of parade officials is inflammatory, controversial, and/or upsetting, or does not abide by the rules and regulations. 

Parade officials will welcome and visit with parade entries and its Responsible Person during the staging of the parade in order to promote compliance with these rules and regulations.  We please ask for your cooperation in making the parade enjoyable for all concerned.