5 things to do around McHenry County

1. Settlers’ Days in Marengo kicks off this week with a carnival, parade, car show, bingo, touch-a-truck and other family-friendly festivities.

The carnival opens at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the parking lot at Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St., and continues Saturday and Sunday, opening each of those days at 1 p.m.

Numerous activities are planned throughout Marengo, including an arts and craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Marengo Community High School, 110 Franks Road; a car show at 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvin Spencer Park off Taylor Street; a children’s pet parade at First Baptist Church at 10 a.m. Saturday; and a touch-a-truck event and petting zoo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday near Zion Lutheran Church.

More family fun – including a corn maze, apple and pumpkin picking, hay rides, a corn box and kid zone – will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Cody’s Farm and Orchard, 19502 River Road, according to the Settlers’ Days website.

Saturday Night on Main Street, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m., will feature local businesses and include performances by Hairbangers Ball and Creepy Uncle Jack Band.

A parade is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, traveling Route 23 through downtown Marengo, before turning and heading east on Washington Street.

For a full list of activities, go to settlersdays.com.

2. The Woodstock Rail Fest returns for a second year, drawing model train enthusiasts and families to see more than a dozen trains on display around the historic Woodstock Square.

The event is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Square, 127 E. Calhoun St. in Woodstock.

Many local businesses and Square venues will host a variety of model train setups provided by regional collectors and clubs, according to the event listing. Trains will be displayed in store windows around the square for easy viewing.

The Woodstock farmers market will also be at the Square from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For information, go to Facebook and search “Woodstock Rail Fest 2021.″

3. The Huntley Farmers Market is marking the end of the season with a Fall Fun Day on Saturday, featuring free pumpkin decorating and other entertainment.

In addition to the local and homegrown produce, market vendors will be selling poultry, beef and pork; eggs; honey; artisan breads and other baked goods; salsas, jams and jellies; freshly roasted coffee beans; teas; homemade Polish specialties; freshly made kettle corn; handmade soaps and lotions; fresh cut flowers; and dog treats.

The craft fair will feature wood products, jewelry, crocheted items and home and garden decor, according to the village website. Free pumpkin decorating and other children’s activities will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Huntley’s Dance Force Studios will perform beginning at 10:15 a.m.

While the weekly market ends this week, a farmers market is set for Nov. 13 and another for Dec. 11 at Legion Hall, according to the village’s calendar.

4. The fire globes will be lit every Saturday evening in October, weather permitting along the McHenry Riverwalk.

The McHenry Riverwalk Foundation also extended its Summer Music Sundays into October. This Sunday will feature Jeff Trudell performing from 1 to 4 p.m., offering a variety of acoustic music that listeners can sing and dance along with.

For information about Trudell, go to jeffandbarb.com.

5. Downtown Hampshire will host a Fall Fest with a scarecrow contest, trunk-or-treat event and outdoor showing of “Hocus Pocus” at dusk on Sunday.

The festival kicks off with trunk or treat from 5 to 6 p.m. on State Street from Washington Avenue to Jackson Avenue. During this part of the festival, the winner of the Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Contest is recognized, and free hot dogs will be provided by the Lions Club.

The movie “Hocus Pocus” will be screened at dusk at the Coon Creek site. Organizers ask attendees to drive, not walk, between State Street and Coon Creek. A shuttle will run from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Tickets are required for the movie, and can be picked up from Ella Johnson Memorial Public Libray or Hampshire Township Park District through Sunday.