Roscoe Lions Club Fall Festival returns to Leland Park


1971 Roscoe Fall Festival program, courtesy of Doris Tropp

Summer is nearly over, which means Fall Festival is just around the corner. The Roscoe Lions Club is getting ready once again to host the annual event that began in 1910. It will be held Friday through Sunday, September 8, 9, and 10, 2023 at Leland Park in Roscoe, Illinois.

In 1910, the Village of Roscoe was unincorporated, and sustained by the Roscoe Improvement Association (RIA). As the population grew, residents and the RIA wanted to beautify and improve their little village by adding sidewalks and better roads.

Money was needed to make it happen. The Association decided to hold an all-day festival at Roosevelt Park, now called Leland Park. The park, located at 1070 Third Street (or 5727 Broad Street), between Harrison Street and Broad Street, was donated to the village by Alvan Leland

More about the Fall Festival

Roscoe Lions Club Fall Festival returns to Leland Park

Roscoe Lions Fall Festival 2023 Schedule and Information

Fall Festival – what better way to celebrate the end of summer

The first Fall Festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 17, 1910. It featured a grand parade of floats, automobiles, livestock and “various attractive features.”

Domestic arts, curios, relics, agricultural products and flowers were displayed at the Town Hall. Livestock, pets and poultry were also exhibited.

At noon, a communal picnic dinner was served in the park.

According to Images of America: Roscoe, written by local historian Dorothy Hunter (now deceased) and her daughter Doris Hunter Tropp, the first Fall Festival was a real success.

As years went by, more entertainment, pageants and parades were introduced.

After 1965, when the Village was incorporated, the RIA disbanded and the Roscoe Lions Club took over sponsorship of the festival.

A few adjustments and changes have been added through the years. The festival began holding raffles in 1971. A new Dodge automobile was the grand prize that year and for several years after.

Many of the old traditions live on. Once again, activities, music, parades and food will be packed into three full days and nights of music, great food, a carnival and two parades, Friday through Sunday, September 8-9-10.

The Fall Festival is the longest running festival in the Stateline area. There is no charge for entry.

Lions Club International was founded by William Parry Woods, in Evansville Indiana. The first charter members were from Geneva, Switzerland and Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1925, Helen Keller charged the Lions with becoming "Knights of the Blind Against Darkness."

In 1948, a Lions Club formed in the Kalaupapa, Hawaii leper colony. All charter members suffered from Hansen’s disease (leprosy).

In 1995, the Lions partnered with the Carter Center, led by former US President Jimmy Carter, in a crusade to combat trachoma and river blindness in Africa and Latin America.

The Roscoe Lions Club started in 1948, following World War II.

Locally, the Lions Club contributes funds to Illinois research for juvenile diabetes, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (childhood cancer), The Center for Sight and Hearing in Rockford, IL, food drives for local pantries, five $1,000 scholarships every year for graduating Hononegah Community High School students, and camps for hearing impaired children.

They also help fund the area Boys and Girl’s Club and sponsor the annual egg hunt in Leland Park in the spring and partner with the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department in hosting the Thanksgiving turkey dinner at the fire station.

Mark Parma serves as Roscoe Lions Club President, JeannieAnn Parma is treasurer, and Gladys Hibbard serves as secretary.

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