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The soft glow of 30,919 carved pumpkins lit up the night sky on Saturday, October 22, 2011—the night the town of Highwood set the Guinness world record for most jack-o’-lanterns lit in one location. And this year should be no different. The three-day Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, which has gained coverage from The Rosie Show and Trib Local, invites guests from all over the country to contribute to its wall of carved pumpkins, an experience that will be captured by HGTV’s “Pumpkin Wars”.

Patrons can decorate prescooped pumpkins at the designated carving stations (or bring their own precarved candidate) as they enjoy a weekend of live music on multiple stages, treats from local vendors, a gourmet farmers’ market on Saturday, hayrides, and a New Orleans–inspired night parade. Participants can even test out their newly carved pumpkin sneakers during the festival’s 5K run, which raises funds and awareness for the Leukemia Research Foundation. The festival culminates with the lighting of the wall of jack-o’-lanterns at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and, when all is said and done, pumpkins won’t be left in the dark as their owners are encouraged to take their record-breaking masterpieces home with them.

1866 Sheridan Rd
Highland Park,
IL
US

For more than 100 years, United Parcel Service's recognizable brown trucks have been showing up on doorsteps in a timely fashion. Founded in 1907 as a messenger company, UPS has grown into a multibillion-dollar corporation by enabling commerce to travel the globe. Now the world's largest package-delivery company and a recognized name in specialized transportation and logistics services, UPS's legions manage the flow of goods, funds, and grandmas' cookies in more than 200 countries. The UPS Store's obliging staff and reputation for reliable package conveyance attracts all types of packers, shippers, and printers. Packers regularly stop in for masking-tape rolls and other do-it-yourself supplies. Alternatively, senders can enlist the skillful packing of the store's staffers, who will deftly seal boxes and cushion contents with bubble wrap or styrofoam peanut-butter sandwiches. In addition to packaging services and supplies, UPS Stores proffer printing services for large-quantity flyer makers and mailbox rentals for lazy messenger pigeons. Each independently owned location abides by the company's rigorous cargo standards and solemn Pack & Ship Promise.

1954 1st St
Highland Park,
IL
US

The sales associates at Verizon Wireless Cellular Connection at Moorehead Communications aren't just store clerks: they're matchmakers. While they don't spend their days finding dates for their customers, they do work with them to find the ideal mobile device and accessory package to match their needs. At the store's six locations, customers can test out brand-new devices, ask questions regarding their operations, and purchase add-ons such as car chargers that provide mobile power, or cases that keep phones from blushing every time they're outside of a pocket.

2090 Skokie Valley Road
Highland Park,
IL
US

Physicist turned "Capture the Moment" photographer. Worked in 38+ countries photographing people in their natural surroundings. Fell into working with kids as the main part of my business. Printed all my own images up to 30x40 from 1973 and now digital since 1998. Take real pride is satisfying a clients needs.

1292 Old Skokie Rd
Highland Park,
IL
US

Skokie Valley Laundry and Dry Cleaners breathes neat new life into grubby threads using eco-friendly methods. Changing solvents with each load to preserve efficacy, the outlet's skilled launderers can remove pesky mayo splotches from shirts ($2.20) or poorly executed ketchup self-portraits from bed sheets, tablecloths, and other flatwork ($16.75 for the first 5 pounds, $2.30/lb. thereafter). Skokie Valley's dry-cleaning service forgoes the widely used but potentially hazardous chemical perc, relying instead on safer and greener substances to waterlessly wash shirts ($7.95–$8.50), blazers ($7.95), full suits ($14.50), and more. With the cleaner's convenient pickup and delivery service, customers needn't be home for clothes to be picked up or dropped off.

514 Sheridan Rd
Highwood,
IL
US

The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of women workouteers in results-getting one-hour workouts several times weekly. The fun classes utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment ideal for both beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. MetaBody's motivational instructors will use your instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. They’ll keep your muscles guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so you’ll never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth-brushing. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early morning boot camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late evening class. In addition to the fitness classes, you will receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound-loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching.

1480 Old Deerfield Rd
Highland Park,
IL
US

Lake Forest Scene