Summer Special Events in DeKalb County 4th of July, Corn Fest, Kish Fest, and Car Shows


The Governor of Illinois JB Pritzker said last Thursday that he was encouraging large gathering during the summer be canceled. DeKalb County Onlne has requested information on local DeKalb County events from sponsors and promotors. The people in charge of events and activities are holding out options for summer and fall events to happen but will follow the State and Federal guidelines as well as the recommendations of professional health officials.

“It would be great if some of the summer and fall events would happen, giving people some hope that there will be a time people can enjoy events again”, commented Michael Embrey, event coordinator for ‘Music at the Mansion’, ‘Kishwaukee Fest’ and other DeKalb County events. “Staging events involve lots of advance planning, some can be delayed and others need to be finalized now to secure acts and entertainment.”

Here are a brief list and updated information on some of the events and attractions that have responded to our request.

• DeKalb Memorial Day Parade – May 25 – still scheduled
• “Balloons, Brews, and Blues” June Festival at Dekalb Airport canceled • Drum & Bugle Corps Championship – July 11 at  NIU has been canceled
• 15th Annual ‘Let’s Dance’ Big Band Weekend from July 17 – 19 at NIU has been postponed – more details later
 Music at the Mansion – Ellwood Mansion – June through August – still scheduled
• DeKalb’s 4th of July Concert and Fireworks – still scheduled • Turning Back Time Car Show – Sycamore – July 26 – still scheduled • Corn Fest – DeKalb – August 28-30 – still scheduled

“The DeKalb Park District has not canceled any of our summer events, but is continuing to monitor the situation and the advice of the medical professionals and will make decisions when the dates are closer”, said Amy Doll, Executive Director.  “These include Music at the Mansion, Municipal Band Concerts, Movies in the Park, 4th of July, and the Memorial Day event at Ellwood.”

“DeKalb’s Farmer Market slated to start in June is still on the schedule”, according to DeKalb Chamber Director Matt Duffy.

The Kishwaukee Fest Parade; Baconpalooza; Ballons, Brews and Blues events are canceled for 2020. “We are sorry to cancel these events, but there is too much-advanced planning and too many groups that cannot commit at this time,” commented Jacki Bish, Administrative Director for FunME Events.

The ‘Turning Back Time Car Show’ in Sycamore is still scheduled at this time. “Our car enthusiasts want to show their cars and we hope to have the show, but the committee will not make a decision until sometime in May,” said Mike Tritle, Board Member.

“Corn Fest will be held this year, Aug 28-30th, which is at the end of the summer season,” said Lisa Angel, Chair of Corn Fest.  “At this time, we are going ahead as planned but we have contingencies in place that if we need to cancel, we will.  Our community safety always comes first.”

According to media reports, many events at Northern Illinois University have been canceled for summer.

Krissy Johnson, Executive Director of the Genoa Chamber and Geri Benning, Executive Director of the Sandwich Chamber both said that most of their summer events are still scheduled, but plans could change. “Our Sandwich Fair is still planning on opening if the State allows events,” said Geri Benning.

Whether events happen or not depends on what goes on with the current crisis in the coming weeks. To plan events, festivals and activities take time and a lot of logistics. It is easy to cancel events if there are challenges, but not easy to book at the last minute. No event planner or organizer wants to put people at risk, but there is also a positive part of interactive socialization.

Governor Pritzker did soften his comments during his Friday Press Conference and feels it is important to take a wait and see attitude whether large gathering will be allowed this summer in Illinois.

NOTE: Event planners and organizers can add information to our list by contacting:

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