The annual HerrinFest Italiana kicked off earlier this week with the Miss HerrinFesta Pageant and Honoree Banquet. Events pick up later in the week with a parade, Bocce and Golf tournaments and live music on the Piazza Stage. A talent show for all ages takes place tonight at the Herrin Civic Center, and the Midway and Carnival opens Thursday at 5:00pm.
The parade begins Saturday morning at 11:00am near the intersection of Stotlar Street and Park Avenue and makes it’s way north on Park Avenue, finishing near Polk Street (by Ron Ward Chevrolet). The judges’ grandstand is in front of the City Hall building between Adams and Madison Streets, so this is typically the best place to grab a seat if you can find a spot.
The Piazza Stage opens on Thursday, May 24th with the Kentucky Head Hunters, and features a variety of bands throughout the weekend, most notably Tesla, the Friday headliner. The music continues on the Piazza Stage through Monday evening with Hunter Hayes closing out the event. Check the HerrinFesta website for a full concert schedule and list of ticket prices.
In contrast to the much larger DuQuoin State Fair that takes place at the end of the summer, HerrinFesta is a smaller, hometown event. It’s much closer for those of us here on the Route 13 corridor, the prices are generally lower, and parking is less of a pain. Sure there are less rides and foods to chose from, but there are also shorter walks between them and shorter lines. Take advantage of this close-by event to kick off the summer season!