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Chester Fall Festival to be one big, three-day party

Submitted by the City of Chester
updated: 10/6/2021 5:20 PM

The City of Chester has lined up a full schedule of events for the 2021 Fall Festival coming up Oct. 15-17.

American Banner Amusements has been booked to provide carnival rides! Presale tickets are $1 each or get 24 tickets for $18. They are available at City Hall until 3 p.m. Oct. 14. Regular ticket booth prices are $1 each or 24 tickets for $20. Rides will require 1-3 tickets. Wristbands will be available for $25 from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15; or for $20 between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Wristbands must be purchased at the ticket booth the day of use.

Hours of operation for the rides: Friday, 5 p.m.-?; Saturday, noon-?; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

There are 40+ vendors signed up for the craft and vendor sale. Shoppers will find crafts, blankets, koozies, wood crafts, women's clothing, Scentsy, Watkins, candles, soaps, door mats, signs, antiques, porchboards, Mary Kay, Halloween costumes, Color Street, Tastefully Simple, flags, jewelry, knives, bath products, art and more.

Make sure to come hungry, as the more than 12 food vendors are offering ice cream, rib-eye sandwiches, grilled cheese, nachos, pulled pork, Italian beef, funnel cakes, fried pretzels, cotton candy, Polish sausage, grilled pork sandwiches, wings, Bayou baskets, STL rib tips, fish, pork burgers, curling fries, walking tacos, kettle corn pork rinds, caramel nachos and more!

To drink will be lemon-shake ups, frozen lemonade, coffee, shakes, soda, water, tea, Gatorade and beer.

Friday events

Friday kicks off at Cole Memorial Park with an evening of family fun activities. "A Zoo for You" petting zoo is sponsored by the employees of Gilster Mary-Lee Corp. and Touch-A-Truck is sponsored by the Chester employees. Both events are free and held 5-7 p.m.

While there, enjoy a Chuckwagon Dinner, with a Rough and Tumble Burger, Cowboy Beans, corn on the cob, Saddle Bag Cake and a drink. The meal is being prepared by Barb's Bounty and $5 tickets are required. Get them now at City Hall, since there will be only a limited number of tickets available on Friday.

Following the food, settle in for a relaxing, free showing of "Ghostbusters" on the lawn. Bring snacks and drinks. It is sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Chester.

A free Teen Street Dance will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday on Swanwick Street, behind Chester Square Gazebo Park, with music by Good Times Mobile DJ. If your teens have passed you by, head over to the festival grounds for DJ Dick Fitzwell, provided by the Knights of Columbus from 5-8 p.m.

Guess who is coming for a meet and greet?! Fredbird will make an appearance from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday near the Central Stand. Fredbird is sponsored by Shawnee Trails Realty and the County Journal.

Friday evening's headliner is the OG's, playing the Main Stage from 8 p.m. to midnight. This five-man band plays classic rock and electric blues with a few surprises. They will be joined by DB Productions LLC who will provide the sound and lighting.

Saturday events

Solo artists or families are invited to create a sidewalk masterpiece in the Chalk the Walk Competition on Saturday. Entries will be judged based on execution, use of materials, originality, creativity, use of materials and overall design.

Prizes will be awarded in the following categories and age groups: Best Children's Pieces, ages 5-9 and 10-15; Best Adult Piece, for ages 16 and above; and Best Family piece.

Get your creativity flowing, carve your Jack-o'-lanterns and bring them to the competition Saturday. Prizes will be awarded for:

• 10 years and under, Silliest Jack and Most Traditional Jack

• ages 11-17, Silliest Jack, Most Traditional Jack and Creepiest Jack

• 18 and older, Silliest Jack, Most Traditional Jack, Creepiest Jack and "Good Gourd Jack."

For the vendors and marketers, a prize will be awarded to the Best Fall Decorated Booth.

New this year are the Great Pumpkin Street Drags, sponsored by O'Reilly Auto Parts in Chester. The Street Drags will feature Pumpkin Racers and Pumpkin Derby Racers battling in a unique side-by-side elimination race. The entries in each division will battle head-to-head for the coveted trophy. A prize will also be awarded for Best Decoration and the Most Innovative Design in all divisions.

Pumpkin racers are made by using a single pumpkin or fall gourd and a prefabricated chassis of any kind (skateboard, stroller, Tonka truck, etc ...) Categories are 4-7 years, 8-11 years, 12-15 years, 16 to adult and family.

Meanwhile, the Pumpkin Derby Racers are made from one pumpkin or fall gourd that have independent axles with wheels attached. Categories are 5-8 years, 9-12 years, 13-15 years and 16 to adult.

Pumpkin Racers and Derby Racers come in all different shapes, sizes and speeds. Race time is 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Kid Zone will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the parking lot across from St. Mary's Church, with inflatables, interactives and games, Silly Jilly the Balloon Artist, and Heroes for Kids. Heroes are volunteers who bring together costumed heroes, law enforcement, firefighters, and the military to make kids smile and promote community relations. Heroes for Kids is Sponsored by Fisher, Kerkhover, Coffey and Gremmels Law Offices and Colvis Investment Services.

Golden Pumpkin sponsors are Benson's Wine Bar, First Baptist Church, Knight Hawk Coal, Plumbing Solutions Inc., Rozier's Country Market, Ace Hardware and Domino's. Silver Gourd sponsors are Manor At Craig Farms, Darrell and Teri Crum, State Farm Insurance, Paul Gentry, Buena Vista National Bank, Chester National Bank and Dieterich Bank. Bronze Squash sponsors are Victor's Medi Center Pharmacy and Chester Animal Hospital.

The newest member of the Popeye and Friends Character Trail will be unveiled at 11 a.m. on Saturday at State and Taylor streets. The city will welcome Harold HamGravy, the original Thimble Theatre cast member and OliveOyl's longtime love interest.

Another Saturday event is the Disc Golf Tournament at Cole Memorial Park. Bring your friends and family for a little good-natured competition while having fun. The tournament is sponsored by Southern Illinois Substance Abuse Alliance. Prizes will be awarded.

The Chester Volleyball Club will host a Coed Sand Volleyball Tournament on Saturday at the Chester Eagles, starting at 11 a.m. Entry fee is $60.

The Chester Running Club and the St. Mary's PTO have categories for the 5K Run (men and women) and categories for the 5K Walk (men and women). The registration fee is $25 and includes a shirt.

The St. Mary's PTO will host a car show on Saturday at Cole Memorial Park. Registration is 9 a.m. to noon and the entry fee is $10. There will be a food stand, a 50/50 raffle, attendance prizes and music fro a DJ.

The Breezy Hill RC Flyers will host a Fun Fly on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. at the Breezy Hill Flying Field of the Cohen Complex. Buddy fly a plane and learn all about the club.

Sam Higgerson is the DJ for Saturday morning. From 1 to 4 p.m. join the Rowdy Wranglers String Band at the Main Stage with some bluegrass, old time country and rockabilly. The Rowdy Wranglers are sponsoredby Square One Flooring and JT Blankenship Inc. Country singer Jesse James of Nashville, Tennessee will take the stage 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday's headliners are the Sojourn Rocs Band, a professional rock and country cover band on stage from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday events

The Fall Festival Parade has at least 35 entries and will step off at 3 p.m. from Chester High School and make its way to the Randolph County Courthouse. Following the parade head to the Central Stand for a Meet and Greet with Disney Characters and Paw Patrol, Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and Good Ol' Frosty! Sponsored by the City of Chester Parks and Recreation Committee.

Join us at 5:30 p.m. when Master Magician Terry Richison takes the Main Stage to astounds us.

Falling Skies Pyrotechnics will light up the sky with the fireworks finale at about 8 p.m. Don't forget to get your 50/50 Raffle Tickets and your Fall Festival shirts, available in adult youth sizes ($25 long sleeve and $20 short sleeve). These are available at City Hall right now and while supplies last at the Central Stand.

Attendance prize drawings are Friday and Saturday.

• Info:, on Facebook at Fall Fun in River City@chesterillinois, email or call (618) 826-1430.