Fall Festival begins pleasantly

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The Lolly Swing at dusk at the Roscoe Lions Fall Festival

Lines were short for the carnival rides but the Lions Cafe was full of diners Friday afternoon and evening at the Roscoe Lions Fall Festival.

For a complete gallery of food menus, see the images at the end of the Roscoe Fall Festival Schedule article.

The featured band, The 80’s Hit List, played top dance hits of the 80's on the Main Stage, including What a FeelingHarden My Heart, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).  Listeners were not crowded.

As plastic frogs floated in his tub, a carnival barker periodically shouted, "Pick one up, you win! A winner every time! Winner, winner, winner!" While waiting for more customers, he inflated a few plastic swords. When a boy arrived, he shouted, "Pick one up!" The boy did. Then he shouted, "Put it back!" and told the boy to pick any inflatable toy hanging from the sides of the booth. He didn't look at the frog. But at least the experience was more interesting than "Buy an inflatable plastic toy for $5."


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A food vendor, browning meat for chili, said he'd been working at festivals for 30 years, even before he retired from his factory job. "It's a love-hate thing," he said. He doesn't enjoy the work of packing everything up on Sunday, but something keeps him coming back. "You can't stop doing it."

The Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District was also serving up food, but they were also giving out prizes to children who knew the right answers to fire safety questions. Here are a couple of them if you want to study up: "If your house catches fire, should you hide in the closet or under your bed?" (No, you should go outside for safety.) "If your house catches fire, what number should you call?" (911)

At the exhibitors tent...

  • Winnebago County Republicans were recruiting volunteers and First Student was recruiting school bus drivers, even to the point of walking around the festival with a sign. you can win a prize from Markus Smith State Farm. 
  • Live REAL Foundation's Bev Pomering was offering free Naloxone training and explained that R.E.A.L. stands for Relational, Empathetic, Authentic and Loving - qualities that everyone says her late son Alex exemplified. The foundation provides awareness & education to fight against the stigma of mental illnesses and substance use dependency.
  • An 8th grader helping her mother at the Sweet Scent Candles volunteered to be interviewed for "the news," so we talked about dragons, dinosaurs, and her plans to become a paleontologist.
  • The Roscoe Township Historical Society is offering visitors five chances to win a copy of the local history book Images of America: Roscoe by Dorothy Hunter and Doris Hunter Tropp. The book will also be available at the Roscoe United Methodist Church's pancakes and sausage breakfast on Sunday morning at Leland Park.

Today's Schedule: Saturday, Sept. 11

10:00 a.m. - Kiddie Costume Parade

  • All children ages 1-10 can meet in their favorite costumes at the Bingo tent for a parade through Leland Park. Babs, the Midway Village Museum sock monkey, will lead the parade to the Main Stage for judging. Special prizes will be awarded to the top two boys and girls in each age group: 1-5 years and 6-10 years. These four winners will be invited to participate in Sunday's big parade down Main Street. Every participant will receive a free drink coupon and one free ride ticket.

11:30 a.m. - Kids wristbands go on sale
12:00-4:00 p.m. - Kids’ Day on The Midway

  • For $20, kids can buy a wristband good for four hours on all rides.

12:00 - 3:30 p.m. - UTR - featuring Kevin & Greg and Dan Tritten & Ben Medina (Main Stage - country, rock, and classics)
12:00 p.m. - Lions Cafe Opens

  • Ham Dinner, served with Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread & Butter
  • Hot Dog with Chips
  • Hamburger with Chips
  • Butterfly Pork Chop Sandwich with Chips

12:00 p.m. - Attendance Tent opens
12:00 p.m. - Poison Ivy Pub Beer Tent opens (beer, wine, Bloody Marys)
1:00 p.m. - Lions Bingo Tent opens
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. - Minimal (Main Stage)

  • a trio featuring a variety of acoustic music which spans several decades

10:00 p.m. - Midway closes

To see an image gallery from the first day of Fall Festival, click, swipe, or tap on the photo below.


The only place to get James and Edna Mae's Barbecue Sauce on your barbecue - unless you buy a couple of bottles for yourself
Eating at the VFW booth will benefit Vets Roll - you can get an ice-cold Pik-El on a Stick.
Water Balloon Race: squirt water into the dog's mouth to blow up your balloon - last one to pop wins.
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