PRINCETON — “It’s Good to be Home” is not only a happy thought for many returning to their hometown of Princeton, but also the theme of this year’s Homestead Festival that will be Friday, Sept. 13-Sunday, Sept 15.
The annual festival honors the Rev. Owen Lovejoy for his contributions to the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad. He was a founder of the Illinois and national Republican Party and a congressional leader. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior declared his homestead a National Historic Landmark in 1997. It also is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tours of the Owen Lovejoy Homestead will be available throughout the duration of the festival.
In addition to the homestead tours and several class reunions will take place during the weekend. There are several events planned for the 42nd annual Homestead Festival including a barbecue cook-off, a 50/50 raffle, a car show, a parade, a 5K run, and new to this year’s itinerary: “Those Funny Little People.”
Those Funny Little People are mobile puppet characters with polished performances that are a mix of comedy, music, dance and audience interaction. They have appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” Those Funny Little People will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 after opening ceremonies at Soldiers and Sailors Park in Princeton.
The Generics, a local band that plays anything from swing to country and ’50s, ’60s and ’70s rock ’n’ roll music, also will perform in Soldiers and Sailors Park on Friday evening following the performance of Those Funny Little People.
Mike Vrana of the Homestead Festival steering committee, anticipates good weather to make for a beautiful weekend.
He said the car show Sunday, Sept. 15 is one of the must-sees on the list of activities.
“It’s huge,” he said, adding that, personally, “I’ve never really had a lot of interest, and I’ve actually never been to a car show until last year. I went for the first time last year and it was awesome. It is just amazing as to how many cars are there.”
The 33rd annual Homestead Festival Car Show will be in historic downtown Princeton beginning at 8 a.m. The awards ceremony is at 3 p.m.
To view a full schedule of events, visit homesteadfestival.com.
Katlyn Rumbold can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.