OREGON – This is a critical time for Marseyne Snow and the other volunteers who have organized Autumn on Parade in Oregon.
The 50e The anniversary of the event was canceled last year due to COVID-19, but it’s back this year and bigger and better than ever.
“It feels good,” said Snow, chairman of the volunteer group that organizes AOP, of his return. âEveryone is delighted to have something to do again. It’s obviously very good for the community with all the visitors it brings to town this weekend.
The festival will be held in downtown Oregon on Saturday and Sunday October 2-3.
As usual, AOP features the farmer’s market and craft fair as its centerpiece. There will be around 180 sellers this year.
The Harvest Time Parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday, is also a big draw. This year it will feature a number of marching bands, floats, the Jesse White Tumblers and the South Shore Drill Team.
âReally cool stuff,â Snow said of the line-up for the show.
There’s the Focus House Car Show being held in Oregon Park East – free car show shuttles from the festival site will be provided – and a 5K and fun race.
There are also some brand new attractions this year at AOP. There will be a Fun Zone for children with inflatables, a magician and a petting zoo.
âAnd it’s all free,â Snow said.
And for adults, for the first time, AOP will be offering an outdoor cafÃ© with live music on Saturdays.
âPeople have been asking for beer garden for a long time,â Snow said.
She added that the beer garden probably won’t become an annual festival event, but they wanted to do something “really special” for the 50.e birthday.
Live music will be provided by Blue Steel and Burn ‘n Bush. Snow said Martin & Company sponsored the beer garden and the groups.
The food selection will also be expanded this year. Snow said that in addition to the nonprofits that offer food to AOP, there will also be companies that offer food. These include Hector’s Cocina, Northside BBQ, and Thai Jasmine Rice and Noodles. Snow said the food would be set up in the parking lot of the old jail as well as on the south side of Jefferson Street. The objective is not to clutter the area and to slow down pedestrian traffic as in previous years.
âIt used to be so crowded,â Snow said. “So it’s really open.”
Snow said volunteers for the event are always welcome and encouraged people to call him at 815-341-5559 if interested. She said there was a free T-shirt in it.
A week before the festival, Snow was still working hard with the rest of the group of around 10 regular volunteers to make sure AOP was ready to go.
âIt’s a little stressful right now because there are a lot of things that need to come together,â she said.
The PDO takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.