5 things to do in the Illinois Valley: Kites, laughs, a hike, a dance and a marathon highlight the weekend

Events set in Ottawa, Streator, Starved Rock and Ladd

1- Let your kite soar Sunday in Ottawa. The Kites in Flight fest returns to Heritage Harbor, along North 2753rd Road, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fest will feature a full flotilla of large colorful kites dotting the sky, provided by Chicago Kite – a company that provides novelty kites to special events. These kites include giant schools of fish, a King Kong-sized gorilla and even an over-sized astronaut. There also will be artisan vendors, food and beverage vendors, a story time at 10:30 a.m. from Reddick Library, an educational music show from Miss Jamie’s Farm at 11:30 a.m., the Frog Lady at 12:30 p.m. and Istvan and His Imaginary Band at 2 p.m. There also will be a dunk tank, free crafts, face painting, a balloon artist and temporary tattoos, while supplies last.

2- Take in a musical comedy this weekend in Streator. Engle Lane’s season debuts its summer season with “Crazy For You.” The show runs at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, May 17-20, at Engle Lane Theatre, 1012 Columbus Road, Streator. Doors open one hour before showtime. Go to englelane.org for more information. Season tickets are available at online or by calling the box office at 815-672-3584. Individual tickets are available for this production.

3- Take a hike Saturday in Starved Rock State Park that’s for the birds. The La Salle Public Library will be hosting a Guided Bird Watching Hike from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Starved Rock State Park, for adults, along with Tom Williams and Don Goerne. The hike will begin by the bird feeding area, near the sidewalk next to the Starved Rock Visitor Center and will be about two miles round-trip to Wildcat Canyon. Williams and Goerne, as hike leaders, will discuss bird calls and the art of bird watching during the hike. The program is free and open to the public and is for adults. Registration is required and is limited to 30 participants. Participants are encouraged to arrive at the park by 7:15 a.m. to begin promptly by 7:30. Register at the following link https://bit.ly/3EATyIQ.

4- Run, watch or volunteer Saturday in Ottawa for the Starved Rock Country Marathon. The full 26.2-mile Starved Rock Country Marathon is back in La Salle County, being held in conjunction with the Starved Rock Country Half Marathon and Run Starved Rock Country 5K. The races will take place Saturday through downtown Ottawa west to Starved Rock State Park. The full SRC Marathon and Run Starved Rock Country 5K will begin at 7 a.m. in front of The Lone Buffalo (812 La Salle St., Ottawa). The Starved Rock Country Half Marathon will begin about 15 minutes later at Starved Rock State Park. The first full marathon finishers are expected to come in at or shortly before 9:30 a.m. Email info@starvedrockrunners.org for more information.

5- Dance the night away Saturday in Ladd. The Bob and Nancy Bernabei Memorial Hall Dedication dinner/dance/fundraiser is scheduled Saturday by the Ladd Moose Lodge 1528 to celebrate the lodge’s event hall renovation. Dinner will be served at the lodge 301 Eastern Ave., Ladd, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and music will be from 8 to 11 p.m. by Darrell Data. Tickets are $25 a person (non-refundable donation) and includes dinner and music/dancing. Dinner features fried chicken, spaghetti, ravs, fries, salad, bread and dessert. There will be silent auction items and a 50/50 raffle.

Would you like your event featured in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to The Times, NewsTribune or Bureau County Republican’s community calendar at starvedrockcountry.com/local-events/ where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.

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