A look at things to do across the region
• Spring Valley’s Summerfest will be held all day in Kirby Park with a carnival, music, food and a beer garden. A fireworks show will begin at dusk at Hall High School.
• The annual Old Wheels Car Show will be held at Princeton’s First Lutheran Church located at 116 N. Pleasant St.
• Gateway Services will hold its annual Superhero Showdown 5K at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton.
• The Starved Rock Runners organization will host the 2019 Women’s Running Clinic from 6 to 7 p.m. at Northwest School in LaSalle. The evening’s goals will be to provide training advice and the promotion of the health, fitness, motivation and confidence of local women runners or those women interested in taking up recreational running.
• The Evan Webb Band will perform as part of Princeton’s “Down on Main Street” summer concert series. Admission is free, and popular local vendors will offer food and beverages for sale. The night runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and the live entertainment starts at 6 p.m.
• Mineral will celebrate Independence Day with fireworks at dusk.
q Help celebrate our nation’s birthday with the village of Hennepin and experience “Thunder on the Illinois,” an explosively loud and colorful fireworks display over the Illinois River. The show begins at dusk, but the day will be full of live music, food, a car show and many more family friendly activities.
• Ottawa will celebrate Independence Day with a fireworks show from 9 to 10:30 p.m. This popular annual display over the river offers great viewing opportunities from the bleachers at Ottawa Township High School and a variety of other locations both on and off-shore.
• Skydive Chicago will host the annual All-American Invitational skydiving competition, which challenges dozens of competitors from throughout the world to create intricate group formations after jumping from as high as 18,000 feet from one of three airplanes. The event will also include a celebratory fireworks display in honor of the Fourth of July.
• The Utica Fireworks Celebration will begin at 5 p.m. in Carey Memorial Park with a variety of family friendly activities followed by the fireworks, which will begin at dusk.
• Sheffield will hold its third annual tractor pull. The event will be held on the northwest side of town, across the railroad tracks and past North Street.
• Festival 56 will present its first performance of “Othello” as its 2019 selection for “Shakespeare in the Park.” All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Princeton’s Soldiers and Sailors Park, which is located downtown along South Main Street. Other performances of “Othello” will be held on July 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28 and 31.
• Mike and Joe Band will perform as part of Princeton’s “Down on Main Street” summer concert series. Admission is free, and popular local vendors will offer food and beverages for sale. The night runs from 5 to 9 p.m., and the live entertainment starts at 6 p.m.
• The winning team from Oglesby and Peru’s annual Central Region Senior Baseball Tournament will move toward competition in the Senior Baseball World Series held in Easley, S.C. 2019 is the 34th anniversary of the tournament being held in the Illinois Valley and several surrounding states will send their best for a chance to advance. Games in Peru will be held in Washington Park, and Oglesby contests will be decided at the Dickinson Field Baseball Complex.
• Princeton’s 9th annual Z-Tour Bike Ride is a charity event providing some of the best cycling in the region. The tour’s five countryside routes incorporate hills, woodlands and beautiful views of Bureau Creek and the Hennepin Canal. Cyclists can check in early Friday night and enjoy live music, food, drinks and hometown hospitality. Entrants can choose from a 10-mile ride with an optional hill challenge, a 30-mile course, a 65-mile route, a 100-mile course, and new for this year, the Adventure Route consisting of 22 miles of pavement and 40 miles of Hennepin Canal and gravel roads.
• DePue will celebrate the 2019 Lake DePue Pro National Championship Boat Races with a weekend full of exciting, high-speed racing, plus many family friendly events including live music, food, a 5K run/walk, raffles, dancing and more.
• Walnut’s Sunset Ridge Motocross Track will host the Racer-X Vet series, which promises an abundance of fast and high-flying action around the challenging track.
• The Granville Cruise, complete with live music and a street dance, is the first part of the village’s two-day Granville Days celebration. Classics and customs will be lined up on both sides of McCoy Street, and attendees can also enjoy plenty of family friendly fun.
• The 2nd annual Women’s Expo will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at JFK Elementary School in Spring Valley. The event will feature local vendors, crafts, food, a fashion show and more.
• Those who enjoy a buttery, lightly salted ear of fresh sweet corn won’t want to miss Mendota’s 72nd annual Sweet Corn Festival. Each year, guests consume approximately 50 tons of corn as they also enjoy a parade, beauty pageant, flea market, live music, carnival, local vendors, crafts and much more.
• Phannie Rae and the Soul Shakers will perform as part of Princeton’s “Down on Main Street” summer concert series. Admission is free, and popular local vendors will offer food and beverages for sale. The night runs from 5 to 9 p.m., and the live entertainment starts at 6 p.m.
• The Spring Valley Historic Association’s Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Cruise will feature food, music, a 50/50 raffle, and a variety of vehicles from 1993 and earlier. The show will be located along the 100 and 200 blocks of West St. Paul Street from noon to 5 p.m.
• The 164th annual Bureau County Fair will be held at the fairgrounds in Princeton. Visit the long-running fair and enjoy music, food, livestock, rides, a carnival, daily entertainment and much more.
• The village of Tonica will celebrate its annual Tonica Fest celebration with a 5K, car show, food, live music, dancing and more.
• American English, a Beatles tribute band, will return to Princeton’s “Down on Main Street” summer concert series. Last year’s performance was the most popular of the year, and fans of the Fab Four won’t want to miss hearing their favorite Beatles songs performed live on stage. Admission is free, and popular local vendors will offer food and beverages for sale. The night runs from 5 to 9 p.m., and the live entertainment starts at 6 p.m.
• The Prairie Arts Center’s community theater group will present its first performance of “Deathtrap,” a thriller by Ira Levin, in Princeton at 7:30 p.m.
• Princeton will celebrate its annual Homestead Festival celebration with a weekend full of activities including live music, a parade, food, beer garden, car show, golf outing, theatrical performance, window display contest, Owen Lovejoy Homestead tours, 5K, baby contest, horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s fun fair, baking contest, craft show, helicopter rides, flea market and more.
• Hornbaker Gardens will hold its 7th annual Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will offer more than 30 artists, wine, home-baked items, craft beer, live music, local lunch fare, ice cream, local produce, henna art, rock balancing, pottery demonstrations and more, with free admission.
• Every Thursday at 9 a.m., the Starved Rock Walkers Club meets in the lobby of the Starved Rock Lodge before heading out on a pre-planned group hike along one of the many scenic trails in the area. Free and open to the public, their adventures typically end around noon. The group’s route is different each week, though it repeats itself every quarter so the park can be experienced in each season. Those hiking 12 times with the group will earn a free lunch at the lodge. No preregistration is required. Appropriate clothing, shoes and a water bottle are recommended.