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What's going on

What to do in the Sauk Valley

Music lovers fill the benches and lawn at the Grandon Civic Center last June for a summer concert from the Sterling Municipal Band.
Music lovers fill the benches and lawn at the Grandon Civic Center last June for a summer concert from the Sterling Municipal Band.


June 8-Aug. 17

Farm photos on display

STERLING – Woodlawn Arts Academy presents “Cultivating Culture: Exploring Our Agricultural History,” an exhibit of historical and contemporary farming photographs being held in conjunction with the 175th anniversary of John Deere. It opens June 8, and there will be a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. June 15. The photos will be on display at the academy, 3807 Woodlawn Road, through Aug. 17. Admission is free. Call 815-626-4278 for more information.

Through Aug. 5

Sculpture exhibit in Dixon

DIXON – “Garden Visitors,” a sculpture exhibit by Leland Sedig, runs through Aug. 5 at The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe, 219 W. First St. Admission to it and the reception are free. Call 815-285-3496 for more information.

SFlbThrough Nov. 1

Painters Guild show

ROCK FALLS – Art@Rock River GAP presents paintings by members of the Rock River Valley Painters Guild at Rock River Golf and Pool, 3901 Dixon Ave., through Nov. 1. Admission is free. Go to or call 815-625-2387 for more information.

SFlbJune 9-10

Prairieland Art Tour

FREEPORT – Once a year, some of the area’s finest artists open their doors to the public for a free self-guided tour in and around Freeport. A brochure, map and signs will guide you as you meet and talk with the artists, see new works being created and gain insights into the creative process. A variety of works will be available to view and buy, including watercolor, acrylic painting, collage, mixed media, printmaking, raku pottery,  photography, art glass, fine jewelry, pottery and fiber art. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Brochures with maps are available at the Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem,  the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center, 4596 U.S. Route 20 East, and The Blue Orchid Art Gallery, 12 E. Main. Contact Ellen Bartels, or 815-232-6749, for more information.


May 25

Sideshow Lilly

DIXON – Sideshow Lilly (formerly Krying Red) plays The Corner Spot, 510 Chicago Ave., from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Find them on Facebook for more info. The band returns June 23.

SFlbJune 9

Band Jam in Nelson

NELSON – The Band Jam, featuring seven bands playing a variety of rock and country music, will be at Who Else Land, 126 Anderson Road. Trippin’ Molly, Head Case, Bigfoot’s Brother, Reflex Blues, The Kill Bill E’s and Carsick Radio will perform, along with last year’s jam winner, Beaker Street. Gates open at 2 p.m. and the bands will begin to play at 6. In between there will be bean bag and horseshoe tournaments and music by DJ Midwest Mobile Sound. Food and beverages will be sold. Tickets are $5 if bought from one of the bands, or $7 at the gate. You must be at least 21 to attend. Call Eric Flatt, 815-535-7237, for more information.

Other Bar Events

May 19

Poker run at The Cooler

ROCK FALLS – The Cooler, 311 W. Second St., presents a new event, Pike’s Saturday Night Bike Night, starting this week and running every other Saturday. There will be mini poker runs for all vehicles with cash payouts, as well as door prizes and live music later at the bar. Sign up for the runs between 6 and 7 p.m.; cost to participate is $10 per person or $15 per couple. Call 815-499-1106 for more information.

Other events: June 2, 16 and 30; July 14 and 28; Aug. 11 and 25

SFlbMay 25

Comedian at Starlight’s

STERLING – Take in a little comedy by “The Midnight Swinger” at Starlight’s Theatre & Lounge, 314 First  Ave. Doors open at 8 p.m.; there’s a $5 cover charge. Go to for ore information.


June 16

Celebrate at the Parkway

STERLING – Parkway Center celebrates its 25th anniversary with a wine and beer tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. at the nursing home, 1801 Ave. G. The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe in Dixon will be on hand with 30 varieties of wine and 10 beers. There also will be hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and a silent auction. Advance tickets are $30 each or $50 for two at the center, the Cork, Sauk Valley Bank or the CGH Medical Center gift shop. They will be $30 each at the door. A portion of the proceeds benefit the nonprofit Prescott Dental Clinic. Call Parkway at 815-626-1121 for more information.

SFlbJune 23

Wine festival goes beery

DIXON – The Dixon Beer Festival (formerly the Dixon Wine Festival, but this year the emphasis is on beer) will be from 6 to 9 p.m. under the tents on the Riverfront. Admission is $20, including a beer- or wine-tasting glass, at Trein’s Jewelry, The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe, and Dixon Main Street downtown, and at the door. If bought in advance, though, they come with 12 tasting tickets, each good for a sample of beer, wine or food provided by downtown restaurants. At the door, you get only 8 tasting tickets. Proceeds benefit the Riverfront and Dixon Main Street. Call 815-285-3496 for more information.


May 19

Lincoln Highway Show

FRANKLIN GROVE –  The Lincoln Highway Car Show, a fundraiser for a park district walking path, will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the downtown. Register in advance for $10, or from 10 a.m. to noon the day of for $12. Vendor spots are available for $25. Awards will be given to the best car, truck and motorcycle; free trailer parking is available. There will be music by 3-D Sound Company, a 50/50 drawing, and homemade food for sale. Contact Marilyn Spangler at or 815-456-2695 for a registration form or more information.

SFlbA decade of cruisin’

EARLVILLE – The 10th annual Earlville Cruise night, which often draws more than 300 vehicles, begins at 5 p.m. and runs until everyone goes home. There will be booths, T-shirt sales, a 50/50 raffle, a DJ, food, and a playground for the kids. It costs $3 to register a vehicle, and proceeds go to local scholarship funds. There will be goodie bags for the first 200 vehicles, and dash plaques for the first 150. Earlville is southeast of Amboy, in LaSalle County. Call Kevin, 815-246-9545 or Ken, 815-246-8412, for more information.

SFlbJune 16

Reagan Rides

DIXON – The Reagan Rides Car & Motorcycle Show begins at 9 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, 816 Hennepin Ave. Registration begins at 9 a.m. There also will be deejay music, 50/50 drawings, a cookout and a bake sale. Any vehicle on wheels is welcome. The entry fee is $15 per vehicle; spectators are admitted free. The top 10 awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Boyhood Home. Call Kali Blackburn, 815-288-5176, for more information or to register.


May 19

River Town Rhythms

SAVANNA –The “New Spirit Band,”  a contemporary Christian group formed 20 years ago, will perform at the River Town Rhythms concert at 7 p.m. at the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center, 406 Main St. Member Bill Foley will present some “river history” and will debut an original song he has written. Admission is free; a $5 donation would be appreciated. Call Lydia Root, 815-273-7296, for more information.


June 3

Pops in the park

CLINTON, Iowa – The Clinton Symphony Orchestra presents a free pops concert, “Symphony at Riverview” at 6:30 p.m. in Riverview Park, 101 S. First St. Go to or call 815-625-0922 for more information.


June 2

‘80s showcased at Woodlawn

STERLING – Woodlawn Dance Academy’s fourth annual dance recital, “I Love the ‘80s,” showcasing the work of local dancers 3 and older, will be performed at 2 and 7 p.m. at Sterling High School’s Centennial Auditorium, 1608 Fourth Ave. Tickets are $8 at the academy, 3807 Woodlawn Road, through May 30, or $10 at the door. The academy is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call 815-626-4278 for more information.


May 25

Fourth Fridays in Sterling

STERLING – Fourth Fridays: Where People and Art Collide returns to the downtown, bringing art and music to a variety of venues, starting at 6 p.m. Walking maps outlining a complete list of venues and events, and more information, are available at or at any participating venue, or call Janna Groharing, 815-625-1248, email or find it on Facebook.

Next Events: June 22, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 22, Oct. 26, Nov. 23 and Dec. 28

July 14

Second Saturdays in Dixon

DIXON – Second Saturdays Art Happenings returns to the downtown. Music, art and other events are offered from 6 to 8 p.m. at various venues, between First and Second streets and Peoria and Galena avenues. Go to for more information.

Next Events: Aug. 11, Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8


May 18

Student dance in Rock Falls

ROCK FALLS – An all-schools dance for students in grades 3 through 9 will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Rock Falls Community Building, 601 W. 10th St. After arriving, the child must stay until the end of the dance, unless a parent is called. Snacks, pop and glow items will be sold. Admission is $5. The dance is sponsored by, and is a fundraiser for, Haunted Haven, a for-profit haunted house that opens in October on state Route 40 south of Rock Falls. Call 815-590-2131 for more information.

June 12

Bubbles at the library

STERLING – Bubbleologist Ben Jimenez presents Ben’s Bubble Show, “art and science with a touch of magic,” at 6 p.m. outdoors at Sterling Public Library, 102 W. Third St. Admission is free, no library card is needed. In case of wind or rain, the fun will move inside. Call 815-625-1370 for more information.


May 19

Roller derby for Honor Flight

STERLING – Morrison’s Midwest Derby Divas take on the Peoria All Stars in a roller derby match Saturday to benefit Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the bout begins at 7 p.m. at Westwood Fitness and Sports Center, Building 3, 1900 Westwood Drive off West LeFevre Road. Tickets are $10 in advance from any Morrison, Sterling or Clinton, Iowa, Diva, or $13 at the door. They’re $3 off with a military ID, and kids 12 and younger are admitted free. Go to or find them on Facebook for more information.

May 20

Wrestling/Battle of the Bands

STERLING –  Combat 4 the Cure, a professional wrestling event, and the Invitational Battle of the Bands, are being held at the Latin American Social Club, 2708 W. Lincolnway.

There are 14 wrestling matches slated, with a meet and greet at 3 p.m., doors opening at 4 and matches running from 5 to 9 o’clock. Admission to the wrestling match, with front-row seats and a meet-and-greet with the wrestlers, is $15 in advance; $18 at the door. General admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door, or $10 in advance, $12 at the door for 12 and younger, seniors and students with IDs. Veterans and active military pay $10 with IDs.

For the Battle of Bands, doors open at 11:30 a.m, with the first band playing at noon. Admission is $10, or $8 with admission to the wrestling match. For kids, seniors, vets and service members, admission is $8, or $5 with a wrestling ticket. Tickets are available at, LASC and Ink Storm Tattoos, 110 Second Ave., Sterling. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Go to for more info.

June 8

Clinton Symphony benefit

CLINTON, Iowa – “A Symphonic Affair,” the annual benefit for the Clinton Symphony Orchestra, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rastrelli’s Tuscany Center, 238 Main Ave. There will be live and silent auctions, an appetizer buffet, a cash bar and entertainment. Reservations required; tables for eight are available. Go to or call 815-772-7913 or 563-243-5958 for reservations and more information.

June 10

Tales from the Tomb III

GRAND DETOUR – St. Peter’s Church Preservation Committee offers Tales from the Tomb III, a walking tour of historic Grand Detour Cemetery, from 1 to 4 p.m. Cemetery “residents” will be portrayed by volunteers in period dress. Tours begin at 1 and take off every quarter hour until 4. A $5 donation is suggested. Proceeds support the historic 1850s church, now used for special occasions. Contact Claudia Nelson, or 815-677-1687, for more information.

July 28

Midsummer Night’s Jubilee

DIXON – Midsummer Night’s Jubilee , a semi-formal dinner and dance. will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. under a tent at the Riverfront. Faith and Melody Hemmer, a piano and flute duo from Dixon, will play easy-listening music, followed by dance music from the Rock River Jazz Band. Dinner is by Mama Cimino’s, and there will be an auction of donated art, baskets, golf prizes and the like. Proceeds  benefit the Riverfront docks and the acquisition of a life-sized bronze statue of :”Father” John Dixon to be placed on First Street. Tickets are $35 or $280 for a table of eight. Valet parking will be available. For more information or to reserve a table, call Dixon Main Street, 815-288-2308.    


May 18

Karaoke at the Moose

STERLING – Karaoke with the James Gang from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Moose, 2601 E. Lincolnway.

Karaoke at Nick’s

ROCK FALLS – Karaoke with Cruisenite Sound, 8 p.m. to midnight at Nick’s, 1301 Prophetstown Road.

May 19

Karaoke at the VFW

ROCK FALLS – Karaoke with Cruisenite Sound from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., at the VFW,  217 First Ave.

Karaoke at Ralphie & Lu Lu’s

ASHTON – Karaoke with the James Gang from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Ralphie & Lu Lu’s,  812 Main St.

May 20

Karaoke at the LASC

STERLING – Karaoke with Cruisenite Sound, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Latin American Social Club, 2708 W. Lincolnway.

May 25

Karaoke at Nick’s

ROCK FALLS – Karaoke with Cruisenite Sound, 8 p.m. to midnight at Nick’s, 1301 Prophetstown Road.

May 26

Karaoke at Da Bar

MORRISON – Karaoke with the James Gang from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Da Bar, 109 E. Main St.


May 31

‘Despicable Me,’ for free!

STERLING – “Despicable Me” will play at 8 p.m. at the downtown Grandon Civic Center, the first offering in the city’s free summer movie program. Concessions will be available before the show. Call 815-632-6639 for more information.

Other shows:

June 7: “The Wizard of Oz”

June 21: “Up”

July 5: “Forrest Gump”

July 19: “Finding Nemo”

Aug. 2: “Back to the Future”

Aug. 16: “The Goonies”

Aug. 23: “Remember the Titans”


May 20

DHS concert – with Han Solo

DIXON – The Dixon High School concert band’s annual spring awards concert will be at 4:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium, 300 Lincoln Statue Drive. Among other selections, the band will perform “Star Wars – The Marches,” with appearances by movie characters. Afterward, children and adults who bring cameras can get their photo taken with the characters. Admission is free. Call the school, 815-284-2273, for more information.

May 22

Food and music, al fresco

DIXON – The Dixon High School Music Department’s annual outdoor spring concert and cookout begins at 5:30 p.m. in Page Park with pork chops, brats or hot dogs, chips, water and a cookie for $6, $5 or $4. The “Pop/Broadway” concert begins at 6 and will feature the Mixed, Intermediate, Jazz and Robed choirs, and various soloists. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket. In case of bad weather, the event will move to the DHS cafeteria. The Music Department also will be selling purple and white umbrellas, $10 each or two for $15. Proceeds go to the choral department to replace costumes and to buy music. Call department director Denise Ewers, 815-284-7723, for more information.


June 15-16

More on 34

The seventh annual More on 34 yard sales once again will stretch across 100 miles on U.S. Route 34, from Galesburg to Aurora, on Father’s Day weekend. Yard sales, antique shows, flea markets and craft shows will be held in towns along U.S. Highway 34. Go to to become a vendor, list your sale or for more information.

Municipal band schedules

Sterling and Dixon municipal bands both kick off their free summer concerts the first week in June.

In Sterling

Sterling Municipal Band concerts are at 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Grandon Civic Center, June 6 through Aug. 11. Go to for more information.

There also will be four special Saturday concerts: a small ensemble concert June 23; a jazz band concert July 7; a Big Band Dance July 21 and another jazz concert Aug. 4, all at 7:30 p.m.

In Dixon

The Dixon Municipal Band schedule varies. It is:

–June 7: Page Park Band Shell at 7:30 p.m.

–June 21: Page Park Band Shell at 7:30 p.m.

–July 6: Patriotic concert, Lee County Courthouse Lawn: 7 p.m.

–July 8: Petunia Festival Parade with the Dixon High School Band

–July 19: Page Park Band Shell at 7:30 p.m.

–Aug. 2: Page Park Band Shell at 7:30 p.m.

–Aug. 12: Reagan Trail Days Concert at the Historic Dixon Theatre

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