Olde English Faire Oct. 2-3

Hundreds of homemade and homegrown items, an Olde English Faire, and an action-packed parade are just three of the events slated for this year’s Autumn on Parade Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3, in Oregon, Ill.

The historic Ogle County Courthouse provides the backdrop for the festival’s Farmer’s Market and Craft Show. More than 150 vendors will display and sell their wares on and around the courthouse square on Saturday and Sunday. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Stronghold Castle’s Olde English Faire will also be held on Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can watch swordsmen battle, shop for medieval wares, and may even catch a glimpse of the queen and her court. Jousters, madrigal singers, and storytellers are also part of the Faire that is held on the castle grounds. Street entertainers, hayrides, crafts and food items will also be available. A gate admission is charged. The festival’s Harvest Time Parade promises to “wow” viewers again this year.

“Cultivating the Seeds of Our Future” is the theme for the parade, which starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3. The “Unit of Honor” for this year’s parade is The John Deere Historic Site, located in Grand Detour. 2004 marks the 200th birthday of John Deere, the Illinois resident who changed farming when he invented the steel plow, and the 40th year of operation for the historic site that showcases his former home and workshop.

Back by popular demand at this year’s parade are The South Shore Chicago Drill Team and The Jesse White Tumbling Team. Both entries “wowed” parade viewers last year with their energetic and enthusiastic performances.

Two new attractions for this year are The Chicago Honey Bears, a nationally known and traveling dance team from Chicago and a children’s parade within the parade.

Other events you won’t want to miss include the following:

Antique tractor show

View the machines that made the Rock River Valley famous as a rich agricultural community. Vintage tractors of all makes and models will be featured. The event is Saturday at Oregon Park East and there is no admission.

Toy show and sale

Step back in time to a familiar place— childhood. Experience days gone by as you shop or browse among the 20-plus vendors of both antique and modern toys and collectibles. Held at the Nash Recreation Center at Fifth and Madison streets on Saturday only. There is a small admission fee.

Family fun events

There’s competitive fun for everyone, age 2 to 100. Events include: the Oregon Park District’s 5K run and 2-mile Fun Walk (Saturday morning), Pennies in the Straw Hunt, AOP 500 Big Wheel Races, Pedal Power Pull, Minnow Races and more on Saturday at the Nash Recreation Center, Fifth and Madison streets. There is a small participation fee.

Auto classic

Enjoy the beauty of vintage autos, trucks, and motorcycles vying for top awards. Tap your feet to the tunes of those “oldies but goodies” as you stroll down memory lane. Great food, games, and fun for everyone. No admission. The event is Saturday only at Oregon Park East. A shuttle will be available from downtown.

Riverfront events

Adopt a duck and have a chance to win valuable prizes in the Black Hawk Duck Dash on Sunday afternoon after the Harvest Time Parade. Ducks are available all weekend in the downtown area. All adopted ducks will jump into the Rock River just north of the dam. Entrants need not be present to win.

Quilt show

Handmade quilts, quilted apparel, and decorative items will be on display Saturday and Sunday in the downtown area. This show is hosted by Ogle County’s Habitat for Humanity. There is a small admission fee.

Food galore

Please your palate with delicious foods from our food court. All booths are sponsored by local not-for-profit organizations. You’ll find fresh, hot apple fritters, barbecue pork chop sandwiches, ribeye steak sandwiches, brats, beverages, and more! The event is Saturday and Sunday and is located on Jefferson Street south of the Farmer’s Market.

For more information on the 2004 Autumn on Parade Festival, visit www.autumnonparade.org, or call 815-732-3465.

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