PrairieFest, the area’s popular community festival, is back June 16-19. Presented by the Park District of Oswegoland, the festival combines small-town charm with an emotional summertime celebration over Father’s Day weekend.
Free concerts from a mix of national and local bands, plus entertaining performances have always been a highlight of the weekend, and this year’s lineup is sure not to disappoint. Partnered with free parking and free admission, PrairieFest has been kicking off summer since 1989.
The circus is coming to town this year with the RockNCircus. PrairieFest will see four days of exciting performances led by the Shane Hansen Circus. Festival guests will witness juggling, magic, trampoline techniques, cube spinning, fire and a death-defying 65-foot high dive.
Thursday’s celebration begins with several local bands, culminating in the PrairieWinds Community Concert, a PrairieFest tradition for musicians in our area. Anyone interested in joining the community group can contact Stevan Rexroat at [email protected] These terrific performances will serve as a great introduction to Thursday night band Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press. Chicagoland’s favorite party band combines excellent musicianship, stunning three-part vocal harmonies, and infectious stage energy that will have the crowd singing and dancing.
Local group Acoustic Deficit Disorder will open on Friday, June 17. Afterwards, there is an international pop reversal with Material Issue. Guests can hear this Chicago band’s ’90s hits “Valerie Loves Me,” “Diane,” “What Girls Want” and “Kim the Waitress.” On Friday night, the Smithereens play “A Girl Like You”, “Blood and Roses” and “Only a Memory”. They will take the stage with special guest Marshall Crenshaw “Someday, Someway”.
With the help of generous corporate partners, PrairieFest continues to provide exceptional Saturday entertainment. Woody James, from Millington, Illinois, will open the day with his band Carolina Pine. Yorkville’s Ethan Bell Band will be the driving lead for the evening’s big number.
On Saturday, June 18, Phil Vassar will perform in front of the PrairieFest crowd. Vassar made the charts with hits like “Carlene”, “Just Another Day in Paradise” and “C’est quand je t’aime”. He also wrote number one hits for some of the most popular country artists: Collin Raye (“Little Red Rodeo”), Jo Dee Messina (“Bye, Bye” and “I’m Alright”), Tim McGraw (“My Next Thirty Years” and “For a Little While”). PrairieFest Park will be the place to be to hear its 20 years of country hits, 10 No. 1 singles and 27 top 40 songs.
There is no stopping on Father’s Day, June 19. The day will kick off with the PrairieFest 5K and Prairie Dog Jog. The PrairieFest Parade kicks off at 1 p.m. and will entertain thousands along Oswego’s Main Street. The final band of the weekend won’t disappoint with American English, the flagship Beatles tribute band playing at the park on Father’s Day at 4pm.
PrairieFest weekend is always fun, and this year’s program continues the tradition. Community groups interested in participating in Selfie Spot Night, PrairieFest Expo Village or participating in the parade are encouraged to contact Festival Director Kristie Vest at 630-554-4425 or by email at [email protected] Area businesses interested in supporting the community festival are also encouraged to contact Vest.
You can also get the latest festival information at prairiefest.com. See you at the Festival!