Roscoe Lions Fall Festival draws good crowds in 2023


Boy Scouts carry the Roscoe Lions Club banner in the Fall Festival Parade, Sept. 10, 2023, on Main Street in Roscoe, Illinois. Photo: Abby Clarke

Gates opened at Leland Park to everyone as the Roscoe Fall Festival began three days of fun on the weekend of Sept. 8, 9 and 10. Each day great crowds came out to support the Roscoe Lions Club's mission of serving the community. Roscoe Lions Club adheres to the motto, “We Serve.”

The Fall Festival has been held at Leland Park since 1910. Photo: Abby Clarke

The Roscoe Fall Festival has been ongoing for 113 years, with the Roscoe Lions Club holding the reins for 53 of those.

As always, there was no admission cost to enter the festival.

Different generations who came to the event as a child are now bringing their own children and grandchildren to this always popular event.

Xander Kopplin had fun with a bag of cotton candy, a whistle and other cool items. Photo: Marianne Mueller

Skinner's Amusements set up carnival rides covering every age bracket. Popular ride choices for little ones included swings, a dragon coaster, and the Baja Buggy.

Von and Juniper prepared to ride the ReMix. Photo: Marianne Mueller
Photo: Jean Seegers

Mixed ages had fun on a Super Slide, a fun house, or riding the Zipper, Cliffhanger, the Tornado or the super fast Re-Mix.

Riders took a spin on the Tornado. Photo: Marianne Mueller
At the Beer Bust, the prize was a stuffed monkey. Photo: Abby Clarke
Photo: Jean Seegers

Games filled the midway including basketball, knocking over a bottle, picking a frog, water squirting aim games, and balloon pop games. Each gave players an opportunity to win a prize. More plays at a game offered a chance to trade up a smaller prize for a larger one. Photo booths gave more options to create memories.

A family spent quality time on the Super Slide. Photo: Marianne Mueller
Photo: Jean Seegers

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois showed their artistic talents through face painting.

Girl Scouts did face painting outside the exhibitors tent. Photo: Abby Clarke

Rows of carnival food booths offered everything from pizza, Chinese fare, elephant ears, funnel cakes, ice cream, beverages, and much more. The Lions Cafe was open with the long time favorite option of cream chicken on a biscuit. A ham dinner and pork chops were also on the menu plus hot dogs, burgers or pork chop sandwiches.

Rides and games at Leland Park in Roscoe, Illinois for the Fall Festival. Photo: Abby Clarke

The Roscoe VFW also offered and served up delicious food.

Adult beverages such as beer, wine or Bloody Mary's could be purchased at the Poison Ivy Pub beer tent.

Young and young at heart visited Teddy Mountain, where you could make your own stuffed animal, ranging from bears to rhinos or other fun choices. Guests were shown how to create a special piece and how to properly insert the stuffing which is spun in a glass box.

Another cool option allowed festival goers to create a memory as an artist drew caricatures. Artist Alan Parma is from Roscoe.

The Harlem-Roscoe Fire booth was a popular hot spot where children were given fire hats. Sweet corn was also available at their tent.

Dan Tritten of Roscoe calls out the bingo numbers at the Roscoe Lions Fall Festival on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2022. Tritten is a member of the Roscoe Lions and The OGMC band, who performed Friday at the festival. Photo: Michael McGinnis

Lions bingo brought on hours of laughs, suspense, and chances to win, proving to be a popular game to play.

The OGMC played Friday afternoon. Photo: Michael McGinnis
The band STEREOtype performed on Sunday afternoon into the evening. Photo: Marianne Mueller

A lineup of entertainment consisted of acts that covered different genres of music. The OGMC with Kevin & Greg, Dead Man's HandSTEREOtype, and Karaoke by Johnny West and Friends hit the main stage.

Inside the exhibitors tent at the Roscoe Fall Festival. Photo: Abby Clarke

Local vendors, churches, politicians, businesses and organizations were set up in an exhibitor tent. All were ready to greet the public as they came through to give out information or provided an educational opportunity, while gaining valuable exposure.

Doris Hunter Tropp had a collection of old-time clothes at the Roscoe Township Historical Society photo booth. Posing her subjects in front of the green backdrop allowed her to insert them into historic photos. Photo: Jean Seegers

One of the vendors was the Roscoe Township Historical Society who set up a fun, unique booth offering “old tyme” photos. Those who participated were allowed to choose period correct costumes and accessories.

Editor Michael McGinnis poses at the Roscoe trestle in the late 1800s, with some Photoshop help from the Roscoe Township Historical Society

Creations by Christy joined in the mix of interesting vendors, with homemade plant-based snacks from Roscoe.

Christy Sainio of Creations by Christy makes healthy, tasty snacks in her Roscoe kitchen. Photo: Michael McGinnis

During the weekend, First Congregational Church hosted a free clothing giveaway across the street, a tradition that they started a few years ago.

During the weekend, First Congregational Church hosted a free clothing giveaway across the street. Photo: Jean Seegers

Saturday morning brought a Kiddie Costume Parade to life. Children dressed up in their favorite costumes. Special prizes were awarded in different age groups with the top boys and girls in each taking home these prizes. All participants received a free drink coupon plus a wristband for free rides.

Gnomie entertains the participants in the Kid's Parade on Sunday morning. Photo: Michael McGinnis

Roscoe United Methodist Men carried out the tradition of serving a fantastic pancake breakfast to start off Sunday morning, prior to a close to an hour-long parade.

Roscoe Rockton Jr Indian pom-pom cheerleaders. Photo: Abby Clarke. See more of her parade photos below.

The parade featured local elementary school bands, the Hononegah High School marching band, youth organizations, Winnebago County Fair Queens and Princesses, business, media, eye-catching floats, and more. Rockton-Roscoe News staff and friends passed out newspapers.

Stateline STEM float at Festival Parade. Photo: Abby Clarke
Roscoe Township Historical Society members rode in a historical car. Photo: Jean Seegers

The Lions raffle drew winning tickets for one $3,000 cash prize winner, a second place $1,500 winner and a third place who received $1,000. They also drew winners of 10 extra prizes in the amount of $50.

  • 1st Prize: Lynette C
  • 2nd Prize: Cathy B.
  • 3rd Prize: Ron E.
  • 4th Prize: Denise M.
  • 5th Prize: Jerry M.
  • 6th Prize: Amy P.
  • 7th Prize: Kevin L.
  • 8th Prize: Guy H.
  • 9th Prize: Connie V.
  • 10th Prize: John R.
  • 11th Prize: Natalie M
  • 12th Prize: Gayle K.
  • 13th Prize: Jerry B.

Harlem Roscoe Fire sold tickets with lucky winners receiving either a $500 gift card, a $300 gift card or a gas grill with a gift card to Main Street Meats.

  • 1st Place- Ellyn N
  • 2nd Place- Sara R
  • 3rd Place- Hanna B

Roscoe Lions Club works year round to support others. This year Roscoe Lions gave $5,000 in scholarships to deserving students of Hononegah High School. Over the years these scholarships have totaled more than $100,000. They also lend a hand at annual Lions Fish’n Fun events and donate to a variety of organizations.

Part of what Lions Clubs do is show support for those who are hearing or sight impaired. Visitors to the Fall Festival can donate used eyeglasses, which were collected in boxes during the festival. Glasses can also be dropped off throughout the year at several locations in Roscoe and nearby.

Special thanks are given to Gladys and Bill Hibbard of the Roscoe Lions Club for their hard work and leadership roles on this year's festival, and to the entire Roscoe Lions Club.

Volunteers, sponsors and the Village of Roscoe helped to make the event run smoothly.

By partnering together, the 2023 Roscoe Fall Festival carried out traditions, added new fun, and created a successful community event for everyone.

Nighttime at the Fall Festival at Leland Park in Roscoe, across the street from the Congregational church. Photo: Michael McGinnis

Click, swipe, or tap on the photo below to view an image gallery by Abby Clarke of the 2023 Fall Festival parade.

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