The Scene

Lockport previews annual Old Canal Days festival

People enjoy a nice Friday night at Lockport’s Canal Days on Friday, June 9, 2023.

The Old Canal Days festival returns to Lockport June 6-9, bringing a packed weekend full of free, family-friendly events.

Thousands of Lockport residents and visitors celebrate the I&M Canal and its contributions to the city. The festival will feature a parade, carnival, beer tent, live entertainment, artisan market, Bingo, food trucks, wine tent and more.

“Our Old Canal Days fest is a big part of our community that brings joy to our residents, visitors to our city and support to our local business community,” Annette Parker, executive director of the Lockport Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release. “We are excited about the scheduled activities and are looking forward to kicking off the festival season and another successful event.”

Hair flies in the faces of a couple riders on the Orbiter at Lockport’s Canal Days on Friday, June 9, 2023.

New this year is the kickoff of Old Canal Days on Thursday, June 6 with added entertainment, and beer and food truck sales. The event also will feature an open-air stage, which will allow for more seating and viewing of bands. Thursday night will be themed “Glow Night” and will feature a DJ from JPW Productions providing music for all ages. The first 200 teens will receive free glow wands and necklaces, and the first 100 adults will receive free souvenir mugs. Carnival rides provided by All Around Amusement will run from 5 to 11:30 p.m. The carnival runs Thursday–Sunday and will have rides for all ages.

In addition, a special “Friends With Disabilities” carnival will run from 2 to 4 p.m., which offers a unique opportunity for those with disabilities and their immediate family members to enjoy free, unlimited carnival rides during this time period. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register visit

Food truck vendors for the weekend include Auntie Annes Pretzels, Creamery, Dairy Queen, Embers, Frosty Dogs, Grzgrub, Kona Ice, Los Razos Mexican Grill, Mr. Salty, Pierogi Rig, Smokin’ Z BBQ, Supermercado and Villa Nova Pizza.

Hundreds pack the Beer Garden tent for live music at Lockport’s Canal Days on Friday, June 9, 2023.

The Old Canal Days Parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, June 7 and celebrates area businesses and organizations. The parade route runs along State Street, beginning at 12th Street and ending at 3rd Street. Immediately following are the beer and wine tents, Bingo and live music until 11:30 p.m.

Old Canal Days continues Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with cemetery tours, historic trolley tours, Powerhouse Tour, carnival rides, Heritage Village activities, Civil War re-enactors, beer tent, wine tent, artisan market, Bingo and more. Family Entertainment runs 1 to 6 p.m. with face painting, caricature artist, a petting zoo and duck races in the I&M Canal.

The festival concludes Sunday, June 9 with the World Dance Spectacular from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., featuring the Joliet Police Pipes & Drums, Blackbird Academy of Irish Dance, Lockport Swing Thing and Grupo Folklorico Monte Carmelo de Joliet. Family entertainment, tours, Heritage Village activities, carnival, beer tent, artisan market and live music continue throughout the afternoon and evening. A firework show will officially close the event at 9:30 p.m.

A complete schedule of events can be found at

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois