The Scene

Local Scene: Morel Fest returns during eventful weekend in the Illinois Valley

Symphony, comedy, pie baking, Cinco de Mayo events also among the highlights

Here are five things to do this weekend:

1. Midwest Morel Fest: Ottawa’s morel fest will make its return from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The Ottawa Visitors Center will host the full day of morel mushroom-centric activities at the Jordan block (West Main and La Salle streets). Visitors will have the opportunity to learn how to identify and hunt for morels, enjoy a vendor market and take home some morels of their own during the famed Morel Market. For more information, go to

2. Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra: The Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Be Inspired ... By VISION,” an evening of visionary compositions by composers John Williams, George Gershwin and Florence Price. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Illinois Valley Community College in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre. Tickets are available online at or at the door on the evening of the event. Adult general admission is $20, college students are $5 with an ID, and students through 12th grade are free.

3. The Underdogs of Comedy Tour: The Underdogs of Comedy are scheduled to perform 8 p.m. Saturday for a comedy show at the 122 Club, 122 N. Park St., Streator. Mitch Mitchell and Jayson Cross with host Ronnie Ray will be the featured comics. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Table reservations are free. Doors open at 6 p.m. Go to events to preorder tickets or for more information on the event.

4. Pie Baking Competition: Prairie Fox Books, 719 La Salle St., Ottawa, will host a Pie Baking Competition noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Enter your best homemade pie for a chance to win a cookbook. Registration is $10 to enter the competition. Anyone can sample or vote for their favorite pie for $1. All proceeds go to the United Way of Eastern La Salle County Imagination Library. Go to for more information.

5. Cinco de Mayo celebration: The Illinois Valley Hispanic Partnership Council will be hosting its annual Cinco de Mayo festival at 5 p.m. Friday at Northbrook Middle School, 1804 Guiles Ave., Mendota. There is no fee for entrance to the event. This annual event features royalty competitions, food trucks, face painting and music, among other activities. In addition, more than 20 businesses and organizations will have booths at the event. There also will be raffles, including one for a used John Deere lawn tractor (tickets for this raffle are available through IVHPC members or by contacting Mario at 815-830-2547). Money raised from the event benefits cultural events and scholarships.

Would you like your event highlighted in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to the Illinois Valley’s community calendar at

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois