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Suburban Highwood Vies For World Pumpkin-Carving Record

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Residents of a small Chicago suburb are banding together in an effort to secure the World Record for carving the most jack-o-lanterns, with a 32,000-pumpkin goal.

After a first attempt last year fell short with 26,287 pumpkins carved, residents of Highwood, a North Shore suburb with fewer than 5,000 residents, are gearing up for a second attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for most lit jack-o-lanterns. That record -- 30,128 pumpkins in 2006 -- is currently held by Boston, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

A team of volunteers set up shop Friday in the Highwood public works warehouse to begin the carving marathon, which must be completed by 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 with all pumpkins lit and on display near city hall, Highwood Ald. Eric Falberg, who is helping to coordinate "Pumpkin Fest," told TribLocal.

The regrouped effort includes an assembly-line approach, with one group of volunteers focused entirely on gutting the pumpkins with an invaluable tool discovered during last year's attempt.

“The ice cream scoop — that is the only way to do it,” Fort Sheridan resident Tracy Flavin told TribLocal.

32 North Shore schools have been roped into the effort, with the incentive of a cash prize for the three schools that contribute the most pumpkins to the effort. For every pumpkin carved between Oct. 17 and 21, $1 will be donated back to the school, according to the Sun-Times.

“We are going to break the world record this year," Falberg confidently told the Sun-Times.

Photo by USDAgov via Flickr.

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