The Scene

5 Things to Do: 2 carnivals, twice the fun in the Illinois Valley

Celebrate La Salle, Ottawa Lions Club provide plenty of entertainment for families

A firework illuminates over a carnival ride during the Celebrate La Salle Festival on Friday, June 23, 2023 downtown La Salle.

Here are five things to do in the Illinois Valley:

1. Celebrate La Salle: Three nights of headline music are planned Thursday, June 20, through Saturday, June 22, on Second Street in downtown La Salle. Hairbanger’s Ball will perform 7 p.m. June 20; Burning Red: A Tribute to Taylor Swift is set 7 p.m. June 21, followed by Alika Arlynn; then ARRA will take the stage 6 p.m. June 22 followed by Resurrection: A Journey Tribute. Fireworks are planned 9:45 p.m. June 20. There will be a carnival June 20-23, along with other downtown activities. Go to for more details.

2. Lions Club carnival: The Ottawa Lions Club Carnival is coming to the Illinois riverfront Wednesday, June 19, through Saturday, June 22, in the parking lots just north of the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The Wilson Family Show was setting up its rides Monday. Advanced armbands are available for $25 at the Ottawa Visitors Center, 1028 La Salle St. The carnival will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday.

3. Jordan Block Jams/Concert in the Park: Ottawa’s new music series kicks off 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 21, at the Jordan block. Cowboy Company will perform. Drinks will be served by JJ’s Pub, and Freaky Fries, Bertha’s and Polancic’s will be on-site providing food. The city’s annual Music in the Park Series will begin 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Washington Square with a performance from The Neverly Brothers and food will be available from Dig Dougs BBQ of Streator.

4. Mendota fireworks: The Mendota Fireworks Celebration is 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29. Food will be available from the Mendota Lions Club, Flo’s on Pulaski and Taco Guzman. New this year there will be a Capture the Flag Tournament. Registration forms can be picked up at the Chamber Office, 800 Washington St., or the Mendota Area YMCA, 1811 S. 13th Ave. The firework show will be at about 9:30 p.m.

5. Infinity Food Festival: More than 30 food trucks will flock to the Jordan block and Washington Square to serve a variety of foods from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 29. The food festival coincides with three other festivals: Ottawa Art League’s Art in the Park, the Starved Rock Regional Center’s Celebrating Kids Expo and the second Music in the Park featuring Strung Out.

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