The Scene

Streator Park Fest to feature carnival, live music, vendors

3-day festival comes to City Park

The dragon roller coaster sits along Vermillion Street in Streator near City Park. Soon it will be assembled for the Park Fest carnival running Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26.

Streator’s City Park will be a busy place for a second weekend in a row.

Not even a week after thousands of visitors attended the Food Truck Festival, there will be a carnival, live music, craft vendors and some more food trucks Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26, for the annual Park Fest.

The carnival will open 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and operate noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

A kids parade is set at noon Saturday from the center of the park and will travel through the vendor show. Children can decorate a bicycle, stroller, wagon or themselves to take part in the activity.

There will be live entertainment all throughout the day Saturday at the Plumb Pavilion, beginning at 10 a.m. with Spongebob’s Bubble Bash. Children will be able to blow bubbles on stage with Spongebob and Patrick. The Streator Bulldog Wrestling Club from 1 to 2 p.m. and the Dancenter from 2 to 3 p.m. also will be on the stage.

The Ralph Hepola Jazz Band will perform 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Plumb Pavilion. John Stites Jazz Awards of Michigan awarded a grant to Ralph Hepola to fund a May tour. As a musician who plays the language of contemporary jazz on the tuba, Hepola is focused on “a new and innovative approach.” Three applicants won awards. The other two were New York City pianist/singer Judy Carmichael whom Count Basie nicknamed “Stride,” and CityMusic Cleveland which will produce a jazz documentary. Hepola, who has chosen to make Streator one of his stops, will tour with Kansas City-born veteran guitarist John Strickler, Nashville bassist Seth Darby and up-and-coming drummer Daniel Pasquale. The tour, entitled “Take in a Jazz Festival this Summer!” will publicize 10 major Upper Midwest jazz festivals including the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hepola’s hometown.

Following Hepola’s performance from 6 to 9:30 p.m. will be the KGB Band, featuring ’60s, ’70s and ’80s rock music. Mary and the Troublemakers will round out the live entertainment from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday with songs from the 1940s to modern day.

All proceeds from the festival will go to Light Up Streator, an all-volunteer crew that decorates City Park, downtown, Streator’s welcome signs and its municipal buildings.

Hickory Street from Vermillion to Park streets will be closed through Monday for the carnival.

Friday, May 24

5 to 10 p.m. Carnival

5 to 10 p.m. Craft vendors

Saturday, May 25

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Craft vendors

10 to 11 a.m.: Spongebob’s Bubble Bash

11 a.m. to Noon: Dance party

Noon to 10 p.m.: Carnival (armband sessions 1 to 6 p.m.; 6 to 10 p.m.)

Noon: Kids parade

Noon to 1 p.m.: Magic Mark

1 to 2 p.m.: Streator Bulldog Wrestling Club

2 to 3 p.m.: Dancenter

3:30 to 5 p.m.: Ralph Hepola Jazz Band

6 to 9:30 p.m.: KGB Band

Sunday, May 26

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Craft vendors

Noon to 6 p.m.: Carnival (Armband session 1 to 6 p.m.)

2 to 4 p.m.: Mary and the Troublemakers

Carnival rides soon will be assembled at Streator City Park for the annual Park Fest running Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26.
Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello is the news editor for The Times in Ottawa and NewsTribune in La Salle, part of Shaw Local News Network, covering La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties. He covers local and breaking news in the areas of government, education, business and crime and courts, among others.