Just because summer’s coming to an end doesn’t mean the fun has to. Here’s a list of area homecomings, festivals and picnics to keep the summertime fun going.
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▪ 95th annual Mascoutah Homecoming und AugustFest — Friday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 8. Scheve Park, Harnett Street and Harper Road, Mascoutah. A three-day event featuring music, food, drinks, carnival rides and games, tractor pull, 4-H exhibit, car show and more. Free and open to the public. facebook.com/MascoutahHomecoming
▪ St. Francis Church Picnic — 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. St. Francis Parish Center, 251 S. Clinton St., Aviston. Mass at 4 p.m. Fried chicken dinner 3-7 p.m. with seating by ticket numbers. Quilt bingo at 6:30 p.m. Includes raffles, games, baskets, margaritas, country store, games and rides for kids, and more. 618-228-7219 or stfrancisav.org.
▪ Zoar UCC Church Picnic — 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. Zoar UCC Church, 9103 D. Road, Columbia. Barbecue dinners and desserts, free admission. Featuring live entertainment by George Portz & Friends of Bluegrass with junior fiddlers Lillian Roever and Noah Feldt along with junior banjoist “Sammy Boy” Webb.
▪ 2021 Illinois State Fair — 7 a.m. to midnight each day Thursday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 22. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., Springfield. Live entertainment, carnival rides, food and drink, games and contests, and so much more. www2.illinois.gov/statefair
▪ Peanut Butter & Jam Festival — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13. Downtown Square, Highland. Food, fun and entertainment for all ages. Free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and popcorn provided. Vendors will be in attendance. Live music by Circus Kaput. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy the fun. 618-651-1386.
▪ 26th annual St. George Catholic Church Picnic — 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 14. St. George Church, 200 N. 3rd St., New Baden. Dinner will be served 3-7 p.m. in the air-conditioned Parish Recreation Center with a menu of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, homemade dressing, green beans, bakery bread, slaw, desserts and beverages. Hotdogs, fish, burgers, soda and beer will be available all evening. Mass will be held at 4 p.m. The picnic will include quilt and cash bingo, games and various raffles, activities for everyone.
▪ O’Fallon City Fest — 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 through 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. O’Fallon Community Park, 401 E. 5th St., O’Fallon. Bands, parade, food, drinks, rides, games, triathlon, car show and fun. facebook.com/events/3978802262236503
▪ Centralia Balloon Fest — 3-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22. Centralia Foundation Park, 210 E. Broadway, Centralia. Three-day hot air balloon festival featuring live music, craft vendors, food vendors, activities and balloon glow displays. Admission $5. Free for kids under 6. Parking $5. centraliachamber.com/balloon-fest
▪ Freeburg Homecoming — Friday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 21. Freeburg Recreation Park, 300 E. Hill St. Freeburg. A fun filled picnic with games, food, raffles, music, truck and tractor pulls, washer tournament, art and craft show, rides, beverages, and so much more. freeburg.com
▪ Columbia Days — 4-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 and all day Saturday, Aug. 21. Turner Hall, 211 E. Cherry St., Columbia. Carnival rides, games, live music, food and drinks, historic trolley tours, and fun. A parade is held at 4 p.m. on Main Street on Saturday and the event features live music beginning at 8 p.m. both nights.
▪ Grantfork Homecoming — Friday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 21. Fireman’s Park, 109 Park Road, Highland. Parade both days at 6:30 p.m. Free dance both nights at 8 p.m. Live music, food, games and more. facebook.com/gfpark
▪ Rotary Criterium Festival — 3-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. Downtown Edwardsville. A series of high-speed professional and amateur bicycle races complimented by a running event, free kid’s races, a kid’s zone with an art tent, an entertainment zone complete with live music, food and beverages, and an open container perimeter, all on the streets of Downtown Edwardsville. edwardsvillecriterium.page
▪ Spassfest Breakfast in the Park — 8-11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 22. Schoendienst Park, 100 Park Drive, Germantown. Serving sausage, ham, pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy. Dine-in includes milk, orange juice, coffee. Bloody Marys and mimosas available for purchase. Dine in, carryout and drive-thru. Live music. There will be a 50/50 raffle at noon. facebook.com/events/170376951690285
▪ Midwest Salute to the Arts — 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. Moody Park, 525 S. Ruby Lane, Fairview Heights. A weekend of art, entertainment, kids activities, food and much more. midwestsalute.com
▪ Waterloo Homecoming — Friday, Aug. 27 and Saturday, Aug. 28. The Courthouse Square, 100 S. Main St., Waterloo. Featuring live music, carnival rides, games, and plenty of food and drink offered by local organizations. A parade is featured on Saturday with floats, marching bands, and other items of interest.
▪ Schweizerfest — 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 28 and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. Downtown Square, 948 Main St., Highland. Food, entertainment, parades on Saturday and Sunday, rides and more.
▪ Japanese Festival — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6. Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis. Celebrating the history, culture and people of Japan, the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the largest and oldest festivals of its kind in the United States. For tickets and other information, visit mobot.org.
▪ Albers Hootenanny 2021 — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5. Albers Jaycee Park & Stage, Albers. Concessions, kickball tournament, vendor fair, inflatables and kids activities, music, food and more. facebook.com/AlbersHootenanny
▪ Homestead Harvest Days — 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12. Louis Latzer Homestead, 1464 Old Trenton Road, Highland. facebook.com/Homestead-Harvest-Days-310502105709041
▪ Street Art Festival — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. Downtown Square, 948 Main St., Highland. The streets of Highland do become a canvas for talented artists during this one-of-a-kind festival. Art, activities, food and beverages, entertainment and more. highlandillinois.com/streetartfestival.html
▪ Apple Festival — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19. Pere Marquette Lodge, 13653 Lodge Blvd., Grafton. Warm apple pie, yummy treats, apple crafts and handmade jewelry are just a few of the offerings at the Apple Festival. The festivities will also include apple wine tasting, kids activities and restaurant favorites. The annual Pumpkin Roll takes place at 2 p.m. Free and open to the public. 618-786-2331 or pmlodge.net.
▪ Breese Optimist Fall Fest — 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. Breese. Includes craft and vendor fair, chili cook-off and home brew contest, live music. Kids activities include bounce houses, touch a truck, car show, petting zoo, rock wall, archery tag, balloon lady and more. Fireworks display at 8 p.m. facebook.com/events/1157304244697397