10/16/2013 04:58 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2013

Highwood, Chicago Suburb, Aiming To Break 2 World Records At Pumpkin Fest

For the fourth year in a row, the Chicago suburb of Highwood has its eye on the Guinness Book of World Records as it prepares for its annual Pumpkin Fest.

This year, the four-day festival is going to attempt to break the world records for the most people carving pumpkins simultaneously as well as for having the most lit jack o'lanterns -- 32,000 -- on display.

According to a news release, the pumpkin-carving record attempt will benefit Superman Sam, a local boy battling leukemia, and the St. Baldrick's Foundation and participants are being urged to wear superhero capes in support of Sam.

Highwood's world-record attempts are part of an ongoing rivalry with Keene, N.H., a town that hosts a similar pumpkin festival each year.

“It’s always fun to have the bragging rights to a world record,” festival spokeswoman Tali Hylen told the Sun-Times. “It’s part of history.”

Last year's attempt by the city to beat the record was documented on HGTV's "Pumpkin Wars" but was thwarted by both overcrowding and a strong wind that blew out many of the jack o'lanterns' candles during the judging, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This year, things could be different -- for one, Guinness is allowing the use of electric candles for the first time.

The festival, which also includes a pet costume contest, a pumpkin pie-eating contest, a 5k pumpkin run and more, begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, Oct. 20.


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