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!  All festival goers are encouraged to wear orange during the parade to show their pumpkin spirit!  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.

2015 Parade Entry Confirmation Information

The parade is on Saturday, September 19 and begins at Lincoln School heading west on Jefferson Street.  It turns right onto Third Avenue, then left onto Madison Street, then left on First Avenue.  From First Street, it turns right onto Jefferson Street and continues to the Morton Post Office.  View a map of the route.  View the Parade Lineup.  View the Band bus route.

Parade Route: 
•  The parade will begin at Lincoln School and head west on Jefferson Street.
•  The parade will turn right onto Third Avenue to begin the “Madison Bypass”.
•  From Third, the parade will turn left onto Madison Street.
•  From Madison, the parade will turn left onto First Avenue.
•  From First, the parade will turn right onto Jefferson and continue to the Morton Post Office.
UPDATE: All entrants (except bands) should arrive by 9:45 am. Take South 4th Avenue to East Idlewood Street.  Turn East on East Idlewood Street.  Proceed to South Nebraska Avenue.  A parade staff member (in an orange safety vest) will direct you from there. Bands will still report to Lincoln School.
Commercial and non-commercial floats wishing to be judged should report to their line-up positions no later than 8:45 a.m. 
The announcer’s stand is located just before the intersection of Jefferson and Main Streets.  After passing the stand, you will continue west on Jefferson, until reaching the end of the parade route at Maple Street right before the Post Office.  At Maple Street all motorized parade traffic will continue straight on Jefferson Street.  All non-motorized parade traffic will turn left on Maple and then right on David Street to the parade pick-up area at Fort Transfer.  If possible, groups are encouraged to have an off-site pick-up spot.

Thank you to our Sponsor:

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 festival theme -- the 2015 theme is “Pumpkins of the Caribbean”

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.  With our pirate theme you may be inclined to bring swords.  Please refrain from doing so.  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.