The Scene

Oglesby to welcome home the Sharpe Family Singers of ‘America’s Got Talent’ fame for Fun Fest

Carnival, fireworks, musical entertainment among the attractions

People ride the Magic Carpet carnival ride during the Oglesby Summer Fun Fest on Thursday, June 15, 2023 in Oglesby.

Summer Fun Fest will return to Oglesby from June 13 to 16.

The free four-day festival will be the city’s 14th Fun Fest after a hiatus from Oglesby Days festivals. Event organizers are excited about this year’s lineup and will be promoting a homecoming theme, including an appearance from Oglesby native Ron Sharpe and his family, who appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”

“We started lining up our entertainers, vendors and attractions earlier than ever to really ensure that we got the top of the talent pool and that we secured a fun variety of music and experiences that would appeal to a lot of different people,” Oglesby City Clerk Becky Clinard said in a news release. “We are bringing back some past favorites as well as inviting some exciting new acts to be a part of our festival this summer.”

Sponsored by John’s Service & Sales, Sharpe, along with his family – the Sharpe Family Singers – will be taking the stage June 16.

Broadway performers, Ron and Barbara Sharpe along with their two adult children and twins recently competed on “America’s Got Talent” after achieving a social media following for their family’s renditions of Broadway and Disney covers.

“We are so proud to bring back an Oglesby native that showcases this amazing level of talent and entertainment that has been seen throughout the nation,” Oglesby Mayor Jason Curran said.

In addition to the Sharpe family, Oglesby has eight other groups lined up from Thursday through Sunday. Thursday night will be Country Night with Fueled By Whiskey followed by Boys in the Band, an Alabama tribute band.

Friday evening will be dedicated to former Oglesby Commissioner Butch Carey with Butch’s Blast From the Past featuring two of Butch’s favorite past acts – Lance Lipinsky and the Lovers and the Blooze Brothers.

Saturday is ‘80s Legends Night, opening with local band 303 and ending with Queen Explosion.

Finally, Sunday afternoon the Stars Come Home with groups with roots in the Illinois Valley – Paddy’s Favorite Sons, the Sharpe Family Singers and Boat Drunks.

The carnival midway will return with rides and games. Wristband information will be released closer to the event, and families can watch the Oglesby Summer Fun Fest Facebook page for contests and giveaways.

The Kids Party in the Park, a celebration for children and their families, has been restored with this year’s Jive Jamboree from noon to 2 p.m. June 15. Children can participate in an interactive rhythm circle with Rhythm Revolution, learn the hand jive, create art and music projects, and enjoy a healthy snack.

This event is provided at no charge so that every child has the opportunity to experience the festival regardless of income. Several local sponsors make this opportunity possible.

The festival’s final day is on Father’s Day. Register for the bags tournament, take in the Timberworks Show – a group of modern-day lumberjacks who compete in traditional challenges such as log rolling, sawing and ax throwing – or check out interesting creatures with Dave DiNaso’s Reptile Show.

A variety of food vendors are lined up, ranging from beverage trucks and hearty fare to snacks and a beer tent.

Ending with a bang, the festival will close with the annual fireworks show.

Admission and parking to the festival is free all four days. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for comfort while staying for performances.

Curran said he’s proud of the large-scale festival a city of Oglesby’s size can pull off.

“Summer Fun Fest is one of the main things that attracted my family to Oglesby,” Curran said. “You get all of the small-town charm with all of the entertainment and food options of a big city. You can’t beat it.”

For details and a complete schedule of events, the city has created a separate webpage at and a dedicated Facebook page at Oglesby Summer Fun Fest.

Oglesby still is seeking local sponsors who want to partner with the city to make this event a success. Businesses and organizations can reach out to City Hall at 815-883-3389 to discuss the opportunities.

An aerial view of the Oglesby Summer Fun Fest on Thursday, June 15, 2023 in Oglesby.
Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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