Starting at 7 p.m. Friday at Willowhaven Park Nature Center — located at 1451 N. 4000E Road, Kankakee — the Bourbonnais Township Park District will be hosting Firefly Festival for local families.
Firefly numbers are dwindling in Illinois and BTPD wants to keep the lights blinking by creating awareness of these delightful beetles. Children are invited to make light-up firefly crafts, go on a lightning bug hunt and see if they can communicate in blinks. S’mores, hayrides and craft kits are included. Pre-register all family members to save a spot as the event filled up last year. The cost is $20 per family for up to six family members or $25 at the door.
For more information and to pre-register, visit bit.ly/fireflyfest21.
Kankakee County Fair
The annual fair returns for its 56th year and kicks off today. Running through Aug. 8, the fair features nonstop events from the time the gates open until they close. The fairground is located at 213 W. 4000S, Kankakee.
From monster trucks to livestock competitions to the IPRA Championship Rodeo, the fair is fun for the whole family. A new attraction this year is daily performances from the Disc-Connected K-9s, where adorable rescue dogs show off their athleticism by catching intense flying disc tosses.
Each night of the fair, there will be a live band performance at the Budweiser Pavilion. Tonight is Audio Express and DJ Ed Gilbert, Thursday is Cosmic Rewind, Friday is The South Side Social Club and Saturday is The Brass Buckle Band. Cowboy Jukebox will be performing Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the antique tractor pull, antique tractors will be on display in the Community Center Building. The tractor pull kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Highlights on Thursday include a variety of livestock shows and a fan-favorite at the grandstand — the School Bus Figure 8.
Weekend highlights include the Monster Truck show, gaming horse show and a rodeo.
For more information and tickets, go to kankakeefair.org, or call 815-932-6714.
Ghost Light Cabaret
Acting Out Theatre Co. will present a cabaret-style production called “Ghost Light Cabaret” that will highlight a musical number from each of the past 10 years along with nine numbers from AOTC’s future dream shows.
The ghost light has stayed on in theatres across the country waiting for theatrical productions to resume. AOTC looks at the ghost light as a glimmer of hope as communities come back together again.
“We are thankful that we can share this with our community this summer,” said Sharon Richardson, president of AOTC, in a news release. “We felt we needed to postpone the large-scale musical ‘A Chorus Line’ until 2022. But this will be an exciting event that we can host in a safer manner for our audiences.”
“This way we can bring a more intimate, cabaret-style show,” said Julie Gindy, vice president of AOTC, in the same release. “It’s a great first outing for our theatre community.”
The show is being staged in conjunction with Kankakee Valley Park District and will be presented Aug. 6 and 7 with a rain date of Aug. 8. It will be performed at River Road Park (at River Road and South 1500E Road, Kankakee), which was the location of AOTC’s 2012 production of “Big River.”
Showtime is 8 p.m. with no intermission. Gates will open at 6 p.m., with food and drink vendors open from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Please bring a lawn chair.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. For ticket, cast and song information, please go to actingouttheatreco.org.
Back to School Health Fair
Hippocrates Medical Clinic and the NAACP are hosting a free “Back to School Health Fair” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 606 E. Court St., Kankakee.
The Illinois State Health Department will be providing Johnson & Johnson as well as Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination shots. The Bradley Lions Club will be providing free vision screening, and other organizations will be doing diabetic and blood pressure checks.
Blue Cross Blue Shield will be giving out boxes of school supplies, and there will be complimentary hot dogs, chips and fruit. There will be a special guest appearance by NFL player and Kankakee County native Tyjuan Hagler.
Make an appointment by calling 815-216-3446.
Aroma Park Luau
Starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, the Aroma Park Boat Club — located at 199 Boat Club Rd, Aroma Park — will be hosting the 43rd annual luau. The event offers a chicken and ribs dinner, live music, raffles and prizes. At 8 p.m., there will be a live performance from High Anxiety. The event is open to families and the public until 8 p.m. when attendees must be 21 or older. For more information, call 815-939-9478 or visit Aroma Park Boat Club on Facebook.