The Scene

5 Things to Do: Pride, Summerfest provide family activities in Illinois Valley

People weren't the only ones sporting rainbow colors at Ottawa Family Pride Festival on Saturday, June 10, 2023. This horse walks down La Salle Street with a rainbow-hued mane and tail during the John Fisher Dann Memorial Pride Parade.

Here are five things to do in the Illinois Valley:

1. Ottawa Family Pride Festival: Believed to be either the largest, or close to it, pride festival outside of the Chicago metro area in Illinois, the festival will feature a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday from Washington Square to the Jordan block, live entertainment at the Jordan block from 10:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., featuring The Little Monster: A Tribute to Lady Gaga, the Ottawa Pride Choir at 1 p.m., Flamy Grant at 2 p.m. and RuPaul’s All Stars Nina West and Mrs. Kasha Davis at 3 p.m. There also will be vendors, a magician, mechanical bull, dunk tank, a kids art station presented by Open Space Art Gallery, sidewalk chalk presented by Human Human, appearances by rescue animals from 2nd Hand Ranch in Princeton and therapy dogs at Washington Square. Go to for more information.

2. Summerfest: If you’re looking for fireworks to kick off the summer, the Spring Valley festival at Kirby Park will oblige Saturday. The display is expected to start at dusk. Prior to the show, there will be a toddler obstacle course, bounce house, laser tag arena, gel ball target shoot, an outdoor gaming arena, a virtual reality arena, Laser OPS, Toxic Drop and Mini Toxic – all available after purchase of a $20 wristband. Along with those games, there will be live music provided by Zack Kwiatek from 3 to 6 p.m. and Regal Beagle from 7 to 10 p.m. with a beer garden. There also will be a 50/50 drawing, food trucks (Philly Factory, The Dog House, Naiho’s Eggrolls & More, Manchouy), the Devilette Dunk Tank, a petting zoo and face painting. The fire department will have water fights at 1 p.m. Go to for more information.

3. Bed races: Come for the bed races, stay for La Moille’s Buffalo Days. The festival is actually three days, Friday through Sunday, featuring live music each day. The bed races are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. There also will be a vendor fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; a parade following the bed races; water fights, bounce houses (for $10), ax throwing, a petting zoo, a kids fun fair and a foam party, among other activities. After each musical act Friday and Saturday, egg sandwiches will be available.

4. Summer Fun Fest: Looking ahead to the next weekend, Oglesby will be the place to be for its annual festival Thursday through Sunday, June 13-16, featuring one of the area’s largest visiting carnivals. There will be a fireworks show at dusk Sunday to cap off the activities and live music, including a performance by The Sharpe Family Singers, led by Oglesby native Ron Sharpe. The family appeared on last season’s “America’s Got Talent.” Go to for more information.

5. Cruise Night: Ottawa will feel like the 1950s-1960s on Friday, June 14. The La Salle County Cruisers will present the 26th annual Cruise Night in downtown Ottawa. Music for the event will be provided by 3-D Sound. There will be an expanded 50/50 drawing and plenty of food vendors.

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