Truly, it’s time to hit the summer festival schedule like a cannonball off the high dive. Ker-splash. So be prepared for waves of fun, whether it’s enjoying the fun at RB&W Riverfront Park in Rock Falls, in an air-conditioned theater to view the work of aspiring filmmakers or the community activities centered around Lanark’s City Park.
1 Waterfront Celebration. The smell of ostrich hot dogs and Montana seasoned buffalo burgers heating on an open flame will fill the air 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday during Summer Splash at RB&W Riverfront Park in Rock Falls. In addition to the Wild Game Cookout, there will be vendors, a petting zoo, the YMCA Family 5K and the pageant of stuffed animals on Friday. The doggie pageant and the craft and vendor show will be Saturday. Live bands and demonstrations include Sye Dodson, Barn Ratz, Legacy Martial Arts, Trevor Sensor, and GED on Friday and River Country Stomp line dancing and Les Funderberg and his Country Crew on Saturday.
2 Moving Picture Show. The second Northwest Illinois Film Festival will be Friday and Saturday at Morrison Tech, 701 Portland Ave. in Morrison. The event is free, though registration through www.eventbrite.com is required. Animated shorts will introduce Chucky Chicken, the creation of Oswego filmmaker Michael Cook. Several features will be screened: docudrama “Sons & Daughters of Thunder,” romantic drama “Without Grace,” and thriller “The Blacklight.” Other short films are on the schedule. Activities start 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.
3 Blast from the past. Lanark’s Old Settlers Days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The headline attraction is the two-day Civil War reenactment at Port’s Pasture, which will be 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The Eastland cheer squad will be offering face painting and kids crafts. There are a host of other family activities. Other highlights: Raging Road Rally 5K, car show, the parade, kiddie pedal tractor pull, and hula hoop contest. Performing live: Just 4 Fun at 8 p.m. Friday, Route 38 at 8 p.m. Saturday, DJ Shadow at midnight, and Simply Free Church 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
4 Sounds of America. The Sterling Municipal Band, whose roots trace back to 1928, will have a special concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Central Memorial Park’s Grandon Civic Center featuring the Josh Duffee Orchestra. Looking ahead to Wednesday evening, the Music Under the Stars concert will be a red, white and blue themed “Fourth of July Celebration.” Wednesday’s opening act, Strings-Along, begins at 6:15.
5 First bloom. Dixon’s Petunia Festival isn’t yet in full swing, but there are a pair of early attractions on Wednesday before things ramp up for the Independence Day weekend celebration. Firstly, tours of the Reagan Boyhood Home will be offered starting at 10 a.m. Secondly, the royal court — including the newest Pinky Petunia — makes its debut during Crafts with Royalty at the Dixon Public Library at 1 p.m. This year’s court includes Queen Kendall Fassler and attendant’s Leah Kuehl and Esther Whitcombe. Pinky will be portrayed by Katelyn Fassler.
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