News - McHenry County

Roaring 20s theme, fireworks, parades all on tap for Marengo Settlers’ Days

Event will run from Oct. 6 to 9

Mia Bauman, 4, of Marengo, feeds the animals at the petting zoo during the annual Settlers Days events on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Marengo.

Marengo’s Settlers’ Days is returning in October for its 52nd year and will be decked out with a Roaring 20s’ theme as part of the celebration.

The four-day event is one that sees much of downtown and part of Route 23 closed to make way for vendors, tents and gatherings, said Colleen Helfers, chair of Settlers’ Day.

“This is our big celebration,” Helfers said. “It’s a block party. … Basically whatever you are looking to do, we have it.”

This year’s events will take place from Thursday, Oct. 6, to Sunday, Oct. 9. along Route 23 in the heart of town. Some of this year’s attractions include three bands, a 5k fun run, a car show, arts and crafts fair, parades, a prince and princess costume contest, and bingo, according to the event’s schedule.

One new addition this year will be fireworks following the Marengo Community High School football game on Friday, Helfers said. The fireworks were originally planned for the Fourth of July, but bad weather led to them being canceled. Instead, they will be part of Settlers’ Day this year.

Another slight change are the bands set to perform, Helfers said. Normally, the event hosts two bands on its main stage on Saturday night.

This year there will be three. They are two local bands called Nobody’s and Ember’s Rise. The headliner performance will be Boy Band Review out of Chicago.

Those attending are encouraged to come in costume, particularly for the prince and princesses contest, Helfers said.

The Roaring 20s’ theme was supposed to be part of the 2020 celebration, which was the event’s 50th anniversary, Helfers said. But the COVID-19 pandemic led to that year’s events being truncated, and the organization opted for a Happy Days theme, which gave the celebration a 1950s feel instead.

Last year was a continuation of that, in the form of Happier Days, Helfers said. And since the Roaring 20s’ had not yet been made the theme, organizers opted to use it this year.

Settlers’ Days is also still looking for vendors, Helfer said.

The annual celebration is put on by Settlers’ Day Inc., a nonprofit corporation of which Helfers is the chair. Helfers also serves as executive director of the Marengo Union Chamber of Commerce, but the nonprofit and chamber are separate, Helfers said.

For a full schedule, a map of the festivities and to learn more about how to become a vendor, go to the Settlers’ Days website at settlersdays.com.