rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 06/22/2005
ByronFest - Rural Illinois Gears Up For A Weekend of Fun
by Gary Hill

The 11th annual Byron Fest will be happening July 8-10, and if you haven't made it down to one, perhaps this is the year to start. If you have gone before, then you know all about the fun in-store. If you are used to events like On The Waterfront, this might be a little different, but definitely in a nice way. They manage to incorporate much of the fun of the larger festivals while still maintaining a small town feel.

The festival is spread out throughout Byron, but the bulk of the festivities take place in the downtown area. The hometown element of Byron fest can be seen in many of the events scheduled for the weekend. In fact, a Gospelfest that kicks off the event on Thursday the 7th probably typifies this as well as anything else can. Other small town touches include a car show (with prizes for categories like best interior, family and best of show), a quilt show and an arts and crafts show. They will also be sponsoring sporting events like 3 on 3 basketball, softball games, a 5K race and a "fun run".

For those looking for music there will be plenty to be had. Many regional groups will be putting in appearances at the festival including Prime Time Live, Jonathon Kuss & the Corporation, The Edge, The Felix Culpa, Mr. Myers and The Fabulous Janes. In fact, they have a full slate of musical entertainment on tap throughout the entire event.

If you get hungry, there will be a wide variety of food to be had - after all, isn't that half the fun of a festival? They lump that whole part of the event under the heading "Taste of Byron", and there is a lot to be offered. You can dig your teeth into everything from sweet corn to "taco in a bag", funnel cakes, gyros, shish kabob, jambalaya, blooming onion and much, much more.

An admission button is needed for the event (except on Sunday - which is free admission), and they can be purchased for $5 in advance or $7 day of the show. For info on where to purchase your buttons, how to get involved, a festival map or any other questions, check out the official Byronfest website at

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