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Festival throws a few new events into mix

Olde English Faire, car and tractor shows, parade on the schedule

OREGON – The 43rd annual Autumn on Parade will serve up its traditional fare of fun with some added attractions Oct. 5 and 6 in the downtown

“Following this year’s theme, ‘Haunted Harvest’, entertainers on Saturday on the courthouse square will include Fred the Vampire and Horrible Harry, just to name a few,” festival President Marseyne Snow said. “Frankenstein will also stroll the courthouse lawn on stilts. After all, it is a Haunted Harvest.”

One of the new events for this year is a post-parade show by the South Shore Drill Team on Sunday.

“Because South Shore is always a such a crowd favorite during the Harvest Time parade, we decided to have them stay a bit longer and do a show after the parade is over,” Snow said. “The post-parade show will be held on Jefferson Street in front of the Oregon library.”

The parade, which begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, is shaping up to be one of the largest in recent years.

“In addition to the South Shore Drill Team and the Jesse White Tumblers, we have booked the New Generation Drill Team and a Circus Wagon Train,” Snow said.

Antique tractors and vintage vehicles, youth groups and marching bands, and other commercial entries also will be on hand.

Also new to this year’s festival is a 93-foot-long zip line in the Fun Zone, where there also will be a Volcano Adventureland inflatable and a Lil’ Builders Toddler Zone, face painting, balloon artistry, and cotton candy. The zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and entry wristbands are required; they are $5 in advance at Nash Recreation Center and $8 at the festival.

The Illinois Patriot Guard Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall will be on display both days on the lawn behind the Oregon Coliseum at the corner of North Fifth and Franklin streets. It pays tribute to Illinois military members who gave their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn, and bears the names, portraits, hometowns, ranks, and dates of death of each service member.

The heart of the festival is the Farmers’ Market and Craft Show on the Ogle County Courthouse lawn and surrounding streets. More than 180 booths will offer handmade arts and crafts.

Additional attractions include:

n Medieval times: Stronghold Castle’s annual Olde English Faire will be held from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. A 1-day pass for 13 and older is $9, ages 7 to 12 pay $5, while 2-day passes are $14 and $7.

In addition to merrie minstrels, merchants and artisans offering fanciful treasures, there will be $1 tours of Stronghold Castle. Go to or call 815-732-6111 for more information.

n Car, truck and motorcycle show: The 24th annual Lions Club show will be held Saturday at Oregon Park East, just across River Road east of town. The entry fee is $15 per vehicle; registration is from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The first 250 entries will get a commemorative mug; trophies will be awarded.

Entertainment will be provided by 3-D Sound, and lunch will be available on site.

Proceeds benefit the Lions charitable programs. Contact Doug Aken, or 815-440-3581, or Rob Arneson, 815-751-5857, for more information.

n Tractor Classic: Restored farm tractors, gas engines and lawn and garden tractors will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Oregon Park East. Owners must register by 9 a.m, and all exhibitors will get a commemorative dash plaque. Concessions will be available.

A tractor drive through Oregon will begin about 4 p.m. Entries will be accepted at the park until 9 a.m. Advance registration is welcome but not required. Participants also are invited to enter Sunday’s parade. Call Stan Eden, 815-732-7746, or go to for more information.

n Living history: The Ogle County Historical Society will present Living History performances from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Ruby Nash Home and Museum, 111 N. Sixth St.

Actors will portray 10 characters in Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology along with historic Ogle County figures such as harness horse racing’s famous “Grandma” Burright, John Deere and Lorado Taft.

Call 815-973-4773 or go to for more information.

n Chana School tours: The historic two-room school on River Road in Oregon Park East is celebrating its 130th birthday and will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

n 5K Race/Fun Run: The 8th annual Autumn on Parade 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. The 1-mile, around the perimeter of Oregon High School, 201 S. 10th St., is first; the 5K begins at 8:30 a.m.

Fun Run registration is $10; finishers get a T-shirt and a ribbon.

Online 5K registration is available at through Oct. 3. Race day registration is $25 and runs from 6:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Blackhawk Center at the high school. There’s a charge for registering online; the first 300 to register get a long-sleeved race T-shirt.

n Duck Dash: Numbered ducks will race down a man-made “river” on Franklin Street, just south of Conover Square, after Sunday’s parade.

Ducks are available for adoption at local businesses now and will be available to buy at the Duck Hut during the festival for $5 each or $25 for a “6-quack.” The first 10 chosen will win cash prizes. Proceeds benefit the festival.

n 50/50 raffle: Tickets are available in advance at the Oregon Chamber of Commerce office, and will be available at the AOP Information Booth on the northeast corner of the courthouse square during the festival. Proceeds benefit Autumn on Parade.

n Get all the details: Go to or call 815-732-3465 for a complete schedule or for more information on any festival activity.

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