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Matt Shipley is scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. Sunday during the Halloween Downtown event in Kankakee.

Halloween Downtown, hosted by the Kankakee Area Jaycees, will return Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free games and activities will be held in the Farmer’s Market parking lot area on South Schuyler Avenue between Station Street and Merchant Street in downtown Kankakee. The festival area also will include the Harold and Jean Miner Festival Square around the train depot fountain.

“Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, and I wanted to do something positive for the community,” said Amy Laws, who was Kankakee Area Jaycees chapter president when the event debuted in 2018.

“A Halloween Festival not only felt like it filled a community need, but it also felt like it pays tribute to the Kankakee Jaycees of old who ran the haunted house every year with doing something Halloween related,” Laws said.

Laws sought to throw a Halloween-themed festival that not only would bring different aspects of the community together for a day of family fun but also would be the Kankakee Area Jaycees annual chapter project.

“When I first started planning, I knew I wanted it to be heavy on community involvement and for it to be free for the kids to play the games. I wanted this to be a fun day for families in Kankakee County. I also knew we needed a petting zoo, and it grew from there,” Laws said.

Anyone who attends can expect fun and a good experience.

“We have some businesses and organizations from last year returning to run games again and new ones coming on board to offer a wide mix of things to do,” Laws said. “The Star Wars 501st is coming back as is the petting zoo. There will be opportunities to do a little shopping, great music and our food vendors are all local.”

New this year: A Time Machine Delorean will be at the fest. People can take a photo with the movie quality vehicle from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Jaycees also are raffling off two rides in the Delorean. Raffle tickets can be purchased the day of the festival until 2 p.m., or online at

Some of the highlights include a petting zoo; fire safety house presented by Kankakee Fire Department; haunted school bus, Illinois Central; face painting and crafts, Kankakee Public Library; pumpkin bowling, YMCA: basketball game, Aunt Martha’s; photos with movie characters, Paramount Theater; witch hat ring toss, Boy Scouts; pumpkin buckets, KC-CASA; bean bag toss, State Farm Insurance; hoola hoops, Intrinsic Arts; photo booth, Oats and Honey photography; bucket toss and build a pumpkin, Merchant Street Art Gallery of Artists with Autism; pin the tail on the zombie donkey, Options CIL; sensory bin game, Easter Seals Jumpstart; Halloween Plinko, Corner Stone Services; science themed games, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School Ironclad Robotics; connect four, Community Cup Church of the Nazarene; button making, Bradley Public Library; Ducky game, GFWC Women’s Club of Kankakee, spider catapult, Kankakee Connect; chalk fun, Kankakee School District 111; and mixed media art and haunted castle, Little Me Studio.

From noon to 3 p.m. there will be a trunk-or-treat in the Harold and Jean Miner Festival Square around the fountain area. The trunk-or-treat is sponsored by Kankakee Rotary Club, Bradley-Bourbonnais Rotary Club, Cigna, Sweet Connections, Kankakee Community College, Agente Staffing, Lullaby Baby Boutique, Martial Arts Academy and Corner Stone Services.

Entertainment throughout the day will feature DJ Halfrican, Dance in the Light, Matt Shipley, a demonstration by Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School Ironclad Robotics team, Madam Elizabeth and Intrinsic Arts.

Merchandise vendors will be on Schuyler, including K. B. Ann Bows and Accessories, Niki’s Vintage Jewelry, The Magnet Lady, Broadway Jewelry and Coins, Avon, Tupperware, B&G Enterprises, Little Bundles of Goods, CMD Creations, Dragon Designs, It’s a Star Baby!, Intrinsic Arts, Color Street, Paparazzi, Generation Sons, Hand Crafted by Nicole, Sweet Connections, Black Hills Forge, Wreaths by Sandy, Riverside Medical Center, MinuteMan Press, A Lovely Game LLC, Cheekers Gemstones and Jewelry, R + M WoodWorks, Martial Arts Academy, Plum Crafty, Lularoe, Good Morning Bakery, Sylvia’s Crafts, Psychic Readings by Nikki, Predricks Emporium, Midwest Express Clinic, Black Dog Mercantile, Aunt Martha’s, Studio Erbo and Start Wars 501st.

There also will be food vendors onsite, including Bamboo Island, Oberweis, Happy Monday Coffee Roasters, Bennett Curtis House Catering, TJ’s Kettle Corn and Jimmy Jo’s Barbecue.

“I hope that everyone who attends has a good time and makes a lot of good memories. Especially with the Time Machine Delorean on display. Something like that doesn’t happen in Kankakee every day,” Laws said.

For more information, contact Laws at 815-630-7051 or email

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

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