Handmade craft items, a parade, and lots of food are just three of the attractions awaiting visitors to Oregon’s Autumn on Parade festival Oct. 7-8.
“We have new crafters, new parade entries, and plenty for kids and families to do,” said AOP Committee President Marseyne Snow. “Hopefully the weather holds out, and it looks like it will.”
The festival, which started with a handful of vendors selling bittersweet and apples in 1970, is celebrating its 47th anniversary this year.
It continues to be organized and run by an all-volunteer committee and is funded through sponsorships, donations, booth fees, and food court revenues.
The heart of the festival is the Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair that features upwards of 190 vendors selling a variety of arts and crafts ranging from handmade wood items to homemade baked breads.
“We have lots of homemade and homegrown items for sale,” Snow said.
Ornamental produce, painted items, jewelry, soaps, candles, antiques, and seasonal items are just a few of the hundreds of items that can be found throughout the craft show.
Booths are located around the lawn of the historic Ogle County Courthouse and surrounding streets. There is no charge for admission.
Paddlewheel boat rides on the scenic Rock River are offered for the first time this year.
“Maxson’s is offering sight-seeing tours on the Pride of Oregon at several different times on Saturday,” Snow said.
Visitors to Autumn on Parade can also partake of a variety of scrumptious treats in the Food Court where local not-for-profit organizations prepare their specialties each year.
Apple fritters, pork chop and ribeye sandwiches, funnel cakes, bratwurst, and gyros are just some of the items offered by service agencies and clubs from Oregon and Ogle County.
A new taste treat this year is a biscuits and gravy breakfast on Sunday morning served by The Gathering Place congregation at the Oregon Coliseum, Snow said.
If you love a parade, you should love Autumn on Parade’s Harvest Time Parade, slated for Sunday, Oct. 8.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Music Then and Now”.
“We chose this theme so we can showcase different genres of music for a variety of ages. It is always fun to see how the entrants embrace the theme each year and create entertaining parade entries. I’m sure this year will be no exception,” said Marseyne Snow, chairman of the parade.
The ever-popular South Shore Drill Team and the Jesse White Tumblers have been booked for the event. Back again this year is a post parade show by the crowd-pleasing South Shore Drill Team. The post parade show will be held on Jefferson Street in front of the Oregon library.
Other parade entries include the Elite Striders, YAVO Marching Panthers, Royal Airs, Sinful Saints Dixieland Band, a rocket cycle, antique bicycles, stilt walkers, a bubble buggy, circus wagon, antique tractors, 4-H youth groups, shrine clubs, commercial entries and many more.
“We’re anticipating parade entrants will make this year’s Harvest Time Parade one of the most memorable. We are excited to watch and listen to music from then and now,” said Snow.
The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday and travels through downtown Oregon.
Additional Autumn on Parade events include: Olde English Faire at Stronghold Castle (admission fee); 60/40 raffle, a Fun Zone for kids, a car and tractor show, tours of the Chana School, a donut eating contest, rides on the Pride of Oregon paddlewheel, and a 5K and Fun Run on Sunday morning prior to the Harvest Time Parade.
Admission is charged for the Olde English Faire and wristbands are needed for the Fun Zone. There is a special reduced festival rate for the Pride of Oregon paddlewheel boat rides.
For more information, contact AOP at 815-732-3465 or visit autumnonparade.org
Stillman Bank is this year’s Diamond Premium Sponsor and the Lincoln Way Inn is a Diamond Sponsor.