Kishwaukee Fest provides a week’s worth of free events

DeKALB – In its fourth year, Kishwaukee Fest continues to grow, organizer Mike Embrey said. The week-long summer festival begins Saturday, July 20, and incorporates free events in DeKalb, Sycamore and Malta.

It begins with a flea market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of Peace and Pleasant in DeKalb, Embrey said. The Harley-Davidson dealer on Peace Road will have a family day beginning at 10 a.m.

July 21 will feature a 7 p.m. concert by local band Stroker Red at Hopkins Park in DeKalb and a pet adoption event.

“We have a couple of adoption groups coming in, including Save a Vet,” Embrey said. “They’re a dog veteran organization. When a military or police/fire dog ages out or is no longer productive, they need homes. Their handler’s job is often to take on a new dog and continue working.”

Military dogs that served overseas are particularly difficult to place after their service has ended, he noted.

Monday, July 22, will feature live music at 7 p.m., this time by jazz combo The Jodi Beach Trio at Ellwood House, 509 N. First St. in DeKalb. The festival also incorporates the DeKalb Municipal Band’s regular Tuesday night concert at Hopkins Park and the Sycamore Park District’s Thursday-night concert at Sycamore Community Park.

Wednesday is the festival’s youth day, Embrey said, which will not feature live music this year.

“We tried to do music for the kids, but I couldn’t find the right genre,” he said. “So this year, it’s going to be a skateboard challenge for all age brackets. We’re also going to bring in a couple of professional skateboarders to do a demonstration.”

The skateboard event will be held in downtown DeKalb at 5 p.m.

On Friday, July 26, Miss Illinois and other regional beauty queens will visit shops in downtown DeKalb to sign autographs beginning at 5 p.m., Embrey said. At 6 p.m. there will be a parade of classic cars and motorcycles, which will park along Lincoln Highway so people can look at them while waiting for the Kishwaukee Fest parade, which steps off at 7 p.m.

After the parade, some rock and country bands, which will perform on flatbed trailers in the parade, will park along Second and Third streets for a street dance, Embrey said.

Saturday will feature BaconPalooza, a celebration of bacon and wine, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in downtown DeKalb. There will also be a classic Corvette show in Van Buer Plaza. At noon, the festival takes in a cowboy mounted shoot-out at Amber Sun Acres in Malta, and at 5 p.m. moves to Sycamore for the annual Turning Back Time cruise night.

The festival concludes on Sunday, July 28, with the Turning Back Time car show in Sycamore from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and a second cowboy shoot-out in Malta at 10 a.m.

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