By ROSIE GITHINJI
WOODLAWN — —
The second annual Gold Rush Days Festival is bigger and better this year, said Tracy Thomas, past president of the Gold Rush Days Committee.
“We have more groups on the stage this year than we had last year. There are 10 percent more fireworks,” he said, adding there are also more activities for the children and there are more vendors for the craft fair this year.
Thomas is not sure what the exact number is for those who are signed up for the 5K, but said the weather will most like be what makes the final determination.
It was a fourth grade class from Woodlawn Grade School which helped with naming the festival after they suggesting the Gold Rush apple as the state fruit. The class wrote to the state legislature and were successful in getting the bill passed.
“Illinois does have a state fruit and it’s because of the Woodlawn grade school students,” Thomas explained.
The festival, presented by the Village of Woodlawn and Wood Energy Inc., will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Chapman Sports Complex in Woodlawn. A 5K will begin at 8 a.m. and is sponsored by Crossroads Community Hospital and Healthy Woman and there will be a fun run at 9 a.m. for children 10 and younger.
The crafter’s fair and petting zoo will begin at 9 a.m. and the main stage will open at 9:30 with the announcement of 5K winners, followed by the Southern Illinois Academy of Music and Dance at 10 a.m.; at 10:30 a.m., a Taw Kwon Do demonstration; at 11 a.m., “Last Alarm” with Josh Gaither; at 12 p.m., Steve Walden, AKA Professor Steve, a children’s event; at 1 p.m., Marc Patterson; at 2 p.m., Summersville Baptist Church; at 3 p.m., Living Proof; at 4 p.m., Sweetwater; and at 6:15 p.m., Jon Henninger will perform.
An apple pie eating contest will begin at 5 p.m. and barring any rain, Thomas said fireworks will begin at dusk. There will also be a $10 for 10 raffle for a 4-wheeler, which will be held at 6 p.m.