Fall brings fun to the area

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112490520630072.jpg’, ”, ”);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112490521530072.jpg’, ‘File photo by James Thompson’, ‘Cheap Trick (singer Tom Petersson pictured) will start the fall season off at On the Waterfront Sept. 1.’);

Summer’s almost gone, but fun is still around the corner. The end of August kicks off the season for fall festivals to start all over northern Illinois.

Just like Rockford’s On the Waterfront, many other towns hold their own special festivals to celebrate a variety of things from food to culture to history.

An Illinois tourism Web site keeps track of all these festivals and many other events that are going on throughout the state all year long.

Here is a list of upcoming fall festivals in northern Illinois. For more information on these festivals, or to search for any other event, visit www.EnjoyIllinois.com and click on Fast Facts in the Media section.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival—Aug. 26-28 in downtown Rochelle. Live family entertainment, food booths, car and tractor shows, crafts and rides. Free. Info: 815/562-8101.

DeKalb Corn Festival—Aug. 26-28 in downtown DeKalb. One of Illinois’ largest outdoor music festivals. Featuring top performers, a carnival, art fest, crafters’ alley, corn boil and more. Info: 815/748-CORN.

On the Waterfront—Sept. 2-4 in downtown Rockford. Illinois’ largest music festival, providing 246 hours of music on nine stages. Food, fun, friends and music. $12 button in advance; $14 wristband at the door; children 8 and younger free. Info: 815/964-4388.

Melon Days Festival—Sept. 2-5 at 800 South St., Thomson. Three-on-three youth/amateur basketball, baseball and softball tournaments, 4k annual run, flea markets, circus and beer garden. $2/three days in advance; $3/at the door. Info: 815/259-3168.

Hello Galena First Saturdays of Summer Festival—Sept. 3 at 123 N. Commerce St., Galena. Local artists of “Twenty Dirty Hands” demonstrate their techniques. Food/beverages will be available for purchase. Free. Info: 815/777-1448.

Lena Lions 54th Annual Fall Festival and 150th Anniversary—Sept. 9-10 at Main St., Lena. This “Cadillac of Small Town Festivals” offers carnival rides, games, barbecue pork chop dinner, antique tractor show, entertainment, parade and the Mighty Big Cat run/walk. Free. Info: 815/369-5135.

Annual Hispanic Festival and Parade—Sept.10 at Route 76 and Business 20, Belvidere. The parade will be in downtown Belvidere on State Street at noon. Festival will be at the Boone County Fairgrounds from 1-11 p.m. Info: 815/547-3800.

9th Annual Sojourn Folk Festival – Sept. 10 at 4433 S. Crane’s Grove Rd., Freeport. Presents great musicians, food, crafts and children’s activities in a park setting. Free. Info: 815/232-5121.

German Festival: Saufen und Spiel—Sept. 10-11 at 2315 Church St., Johnsburg. Authentic German festival with food, drinks, music, raffles and more. Parade on Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m., followed by more music and games for the kids. Free. Info: 815/385-8475.

Grand Detour Art Festival—Sept. 11 at 8393 S. Main St., Grand Detour. Fine arts show with music, food vendors and more than 50 fine art booths all on the John Deere Historic Site. Info: 815/652-3330.

Galena Garlic Festival—Sept. 17-18 at 11410 U.S. Hwy. 20, West Galena. A celebration of food, music, dance and camaraderie of garlic aficionados. Sampling and tasting of garlic foods cooked by area chefs. Reservations appreciated. On the grounds of Belle Aire Mansion. Info: 815/777-9625.

Scarecrow Festival—Sept. 17-18 in downtown Dixon. Art on the Square, a Scarecrow decorating contest, pet contest, parade, fun fair, car show and cruise, crafts and beer garden with music. Free. Info: 815/288-2308.

Illinois Storytelling Festival—Sept. 17-18 on Main Street, Spring Grove. Stories for the entire family under five big top tents. Signs interpreted. Not just for kids anymore. Info: 815/344-0181.

Stockton Apple Basket Festival—Sept. 18 off Hwy. 20, Stockton. Craft vendors, entertainment, contests, pony rides and more at Stockton Park. Free. Info: 815/947-3936.

Johnny Appleseed Festival—Sept. 24 in downtown Crystal Lake. There will be pony rides, wagon rides, games, refreshments, farmers’ market, shopping and more. Come meet Johnny Appleseed himself. Free. Info: 815/479-0835.

Stillman Valley Fall Festival—Sept. 23-25 at village schools and parks in Stillman Valley. Baking, tractor, car, craft, farm toy, horticulture, quilt and talent shows, chili cook-off, fireworks, flea market, parade, dances, train display, carnival rides and sporting events. Free. Info: 815/234-5400.

35th Annual Warren Pumpkin Festival—Sept. 24 in downtown Warren. Arts and crafts, baked goods, parade, food booths, games, pedal tractor pull, 5K and 10K run/walk, volleyball tournament, auction and produce stand. Info: 815/745-9011.

Autumn Pioneer Festival—Sept. 24-25 in the Boone County Conservation District, Belvidere. Life works and crafts of the 1800s. More than 40 exhibitors, including blacksmithing, open-fire pottery, Native American lore, Civil War encampment, 1830s log cabin, ethnic gardens, soap, apple butter, sauerkraut making, buffalo stew and much more. Info: 815/547-7935.

56th Annual Grundy County Corn Festival—Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in downtown Morris. Parade, food, crafts, activities for all, entertainment and more. Info: 815/942-2676.

Annual Fall Festival of Crafts—Sept. 29 at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, Sandwich. Crafts for sale and demo indoors and outdoors with 300 artisans participating. Info: 815/786-3059.

Harvest Moon Festival—Oct. 1 in downtown Genoa. Scarecrows, pumpkins, gourds, mums and corn stalks for sale. Food booths and specials in stores and restaurants. Info: 815/784-5101.

Phantom Regiment Fall Marching Band Festival—Oct. 1 at Harlem High School, Machesney Park. More than 1,000 young people in bands from across America will march in competitive and not-competitive shows. The festival is hosted by Rockford’s world-class drum and bugle corps, The Phantom Regiment. Info: 815/226-2835.

Hello Galena’s First Saturdays Festival—Oct. 1 at 123 N. Commerce St., Galena. Martin Hippie and the Smashing Pumpkins Festival featuring a giant pumpkin weighing contest, youth activities and a Smashing Pumpkin finale of pumpkins plummeting into the Fever River. Info: 815/777-1448.

O-Galena! Orienteering Festival—Oct. 1-2 at Big Sky Farm, Stockton. Navigate scenic hills with a map and compass. A cross-country sport of all ages and skill levels. New routes. Timed option; staggered starts. $10/adults; $8/juniors; free/younger than 6; $40/maximum per family; $2/rental compass. Info: 815/777-3577, ext. 11.

Fall Festival at Heritage Canyon—Oct. 8-9 at N. 4th St., Fulton. See 1800s skills: spinning, weaving, carving, antique tools, pioneer toys, making brooms, rope, bread, butter and shoes, chair caning and much more. $2/adults; $1/students. Info: 815/589-2838.

Harvest Scarecrow Festival—Oct. 8-9 at Midway Village and Museum Center, Rockford. Time-honored harvest activities, including making your own scarecrow, plus an old-time baseball game; interpreters will be on hand in the village. $5/adults; $3/children. Info: 815/397-9112.

Harvest Festival Weekend—Oct. 8-9 at 7000 Olson Rd., Union. Opportunities to buy caramel apples, cider, apples, Indian corn and other goodies. Free pumpkin per family. Info: 815/923-4000.

Fulton’s Fall Festival—Oct. 8-9 in downtown Fulton. Enjoy pumpkin painting, a downtown scavenger hunt, unique shopping and tours of Fulton Fiber Mill and Windmill. Free. Info: 815/589-4545.

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival—Oct. 26-30 at 133 W. State St., Sycamore. Thousands of decorated pumpkins on display. Craft, antique, art shows, house walk, health fair, carnival, haunted house and more. Parade on Sunday. Info: 815/895-3157.

Galena Halloween Balloon Festival—Oct. 29-30 at 11334 Oldenburg Lane, Galena. Friday: balloon glow; Saturday: balloon launch and glow with trick-or-treating from basket to basket; Sunday: balloon launch. All activities (accept Saturday balloon glow) on the grounds behind Country Inn & Suites. Weather permitting. Info: 815/777-3600.

From the Aug. 24-30, 2005, issue

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