The Scene

Local Scene: World War II era planes, colorful kites take flight this weekend in Illinois Valley

Food trucks, Civil War history also on tap

A pilot turns the propeller of a TBM Avenger during the TBM Avenger Reunion on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru.

Here are five things to do this weekend:

1. TBM Avenger Reunion: The two-day event featuring World War II-era aircraft returns Friday and Saturday to the Illinois Valley Regional Airport, 4251 Ed Urban Drive, Peru. Visitors will have an opportunity to ride in the B-25 Mitchell “Berlin Express” or the UH-1H Huey Greyhound. The flying begins at 1 p.m. Friday with a number of different planes taking flight, including the TBM show at 3:25 p.m. The night show begins at 6 p.m., concluding with a fireworks display. A veterans parade and honor walk is set for noon Saturday, followed by the missing man salute at 12:20 p.m. The B-25 Mitchell will make its pass at about 1:40 p.m. as airshows are expected to take place until 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the city of Peru and is free admission. Go to for more information.

2. Food Truck Festival: Streator’s eighth annual gathering scheduled noon to 7 p.m. Saturday on the south end of City Park is expected to have 21 food trucks. Music will be provided by Riker Maneuver and Southside Soul Kings at the Plumb Pavilion in the park. Along with food trucks, there will be craft vendors and yard games. Go to for more information.

3. Kites in Flight: Set 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Ottawa’s riverfront, 400 Clinton St. The fest will feature colorful kites dotting the sky, provided by Chicago Kite. The eye-catching kites include giant schools of fish, a King Kong-sized gorilla and giant astronaut. There will be free crafts provided by Ottawa’s Open Space Art Gallery and Studios (including customizable flower pots - complete with small plants provided by Garden’s Gate), a dunk tank, face painting, a balloon artist and coloring sheets, while supplies last. There also will be bounce houses, obstacle courses and air-dropped candy, held at select times and locations.

4. Gen. WHL Wallace Memorial Event: The grounds of the Reddick Mansion will host a group of Civil War reenactors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, including a blacksmith and a wool spinner. The soldiers will be demonstrating all facets of camp life including cooking and baking, marching and training, cleaning weapons and readying to go into battle. Cost for entry to the encampment will be $5 a person and $20 for a family. Saturday visitors also will be given access to Christ Episcopal Church, 113 W. Lafayette St., to view the WHL Wallace Memorial window. Guided tours of the Wallace-Dickey Cemetery will be given on Sunday. Buses will be leaving the museum every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Cost will be $15 a person and $25 for a family. The museum also will have several Civil War displays set up. Drew Jessen of Oglesby will display and talk about his collection of Civil War flags Sunday at the Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum.

5. “Grumpy Old Men: The Musical”: The Engle Lane Theatre, 1012 Columbus Road, in Streator kicks off its season with the comedy-musical at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for children 12 and younger. There also will be shows at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. You may call the box office at 815-672-3584 to reserve tickets. For more information about Community Players of Streator, Inc. visit or follow its Facebook page at “Engle Lane Theatre.”

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Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois