ANNUAL EVENTS

Make your trip to Williamson County an annual affair!  Our annual events are so spectacular, they will keep you coming back, year after year.  We invite you to participate in a community tradition at one of our entertainment venues.

January Events

Polar Bear Ride January 1, 2020
Ring in the New Year and join The Polar Bear Ride! Arrive at 10:30 am, then kickstands are up and departure is at 11:30 am.  However, the ride route and length will be determined by the weather.  Black Diamond Harley-Davidson hosts this event.

Ever After Bridal Show January 5, 2020
Buy a dress, pick out flowers, and find a photographer all at one amazing event.  The Bridal Show is presented by River Radio and is held at The Pavilion in Marion.

Bald Eagle Tours January 24-25 and Jan 31-Feb1, 2020
Three guided tours daily into the closed portion of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge to view active bald eagles and their nests. Most importantly, reservations are required.

Hospice Gala January 25, 2020
This benefit gala for Hospice of Southern Illinois is held at The Pavilion in Marion.  Enjoy a night to remember so dress in your themed attire!

February Events

Southern Illinois Boat & Fishing Show February 7-9, 2020
Boat and tackle dealers from all over the Midwest show off their merchandise.  Daily fishing seminars, live entertainment, door prizes and more family-friendly fun.  Parking and admission are free at The Pavilion.

Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon February 8, 2020
It’s not often you get to feel like you’re flying.  This flat, fast course winds through the stunning Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in areas usually reserved for eagles alone.  The course features pavement sections and trips down back roads. 

March Events

Leaps and Bounds Kidsignment March 21-23, 2019 (2020 TBD)
This semi-annual seasonal sales event offers great quality clothing for the whole family.  At the kidsignment sales, you can buy and sell gently worn children’s clothing, toys, baby beds, maternity clothes, shoes, boots, children’s furniture, games, and much more.  This event is held at The Pavilion in Marion.

Southern Illinois Wellness Expo March 23, 2019 (2020 TBD)
Held at John A. Logan College, this Expo teaches visitors about the health issues that affect day-to-day life and hopes to encourage happier and healthier lifestyles.  Tickets are $10 for adults, and children 17 and under are free.  There are a variety of health screenings, exhibits, and breakout sessions.

Southern Illinois Spirituality & Psychic Festival March 30-31, 2019 (2020 TBD)
This two-day festival offers free workshops, shopping, psychic readings, reiki, massage, wine, beer, and food.  Admission is $3 and is held at Celebrations Event Center in Marion.

April Events

Illinois State Checker Tournament April 6-7, 2019 (2020 TBD)
The annual Illinois State Checker Tournament is held at Mackie’s Pizza in Marion.  Entry is $10 and can be paid at Registration.  Entrants will be divided into Class A(expert), Class B Minor, Class C (beginners).  Please bring your own board and checkers.

Gem & Mineral Show April 4-5,2020
Southern Illinois Earth Science Club hosts the annual show to include several types of exhibits featuring minerals, fossils, Indian artifacts, gemstones, jewelry, shells and lapidary work.  Along with exhibits, there will be silent auctions and door prizes.  This event is held at The Pavilion in Marion.

River-to-River Relay April 18,2020
The River-to-River (R2R) race is a popular, annual 80-mile relay race held in Southern Illinois in mid-April. Two Hundred and forty teams from around the country compete.  The eight members of each team run three cycles of 3.3 miles while keeping in a certain order.  The course starts near the Mississippi River by Wolf Lake, Illinois and continues over 80 hilly and curvy miles of two-lane highways to Golconda on the banks of the Ohio River.

May Events

Whirlwind Soccer Tournament May 1-3, 2020
Recreational league tournament with over 100 teams competing.  There are games for children of all ages, face painting, concessions, and many more activities so to keep everyone busy and having fun.  This event is held at the Marion Soccer Complex.

HerrinFesta Italiana May 17-25,2020
Voted Illinois’ Best Event or Festival in 2014, this week-long celebration of Italian heritage includes a grape stomp, “Bigga Nose” contest, a carnival, and concerts by many world-famous recording artists.  Downtown Herrin is the home of this event. For more detailed information on the week-long events, go to www.HerrinFesta.com.

June Events

Southern Illinois Music Fest May 22- June 7, 2020
Features over three dozen performances at various venues throughout Southern Illinois.  Professionals from North and South America, Europe and Asia perform orchestral and chamber music, opera, ballet, jazz and new music.  Join in for a great season of music at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.

Miss Illinois Scholarship Pageant June 12-15, 2019 (2020 TBD)
This pageant is a part of the Miss America organization.  During this scholarship pageant, women from all over Illinois will compete for a scholarship and a chance to enter the Miss America pageant.  Marion Cultural and Civic Center and The Pavilion host this event.

Highbanks Hustle June 20-22, 2019 (2020 TBD)
Now in its 7th season and becoming the highest paying micro sprint race of the year, this year’s edition will pay out a whopping $10,000 to the #HBH19 champion!  The winner will walk away with his fair share and the top eight finishers will score at least $1,000.  Southern Illinois Raceway is home to this event.

July Events

Terry Sprague Memorial Race July 25-27, 2019
The biggest non-wing outlaw micro sprint race of the year will take place on the high banks of Southern Illinois Raceway!  It will feature a Saturday night feature paying $5,000 to the winner and $250 to start.  The event will kick off with an open practice on Thursday, July 25th.  After that, on Friday, the preliminary night will take place.  The top 6 from Friday night will lock into the dash and A-Main on Saturday night.  We look forward to honoring a great racer, man, and friend again this year!

August Events

Williamson County Fair August 4-10, 2019
Thrill the young and old alike with a trip to the Demo Derby!  Local residents bring their arts and crafts for cash prizes and of course, bragging rights with the ribbons.  Horsemen have enjoyed harness races on the same track for over a hundred years.  Western, Gaited, and Speed horse shows, for instance, bring in lots of people.  Williamson County Fairgrounds is home to this event.

Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois Family History Conference August 10, 2019
This book fair/vendor event hosts multiple keynote speakers and breakout sessions on genealogy and new technologies to help find your family history.  This event is held at John A. Logan College.

September Events

Carterville Free Fair September 6-8, 2019
This annual event presented by the Carterville Lions/Lioness Club is held on Labor Day weekend and includes a Twilight 5K run, parade, carnival, games, free entertainment, food and much more!  Come see the Ping-Pong Avalanche and the big wheel races.  This event is held at Cannon Park in Carterville.

Crab Orchard Fall Market September 7, 2019
Crab Orchard Fall Market is a gathering of talented vendors who create unique items, collecting, & selling their products from furniture, clothing, jewelry, food and more! 

Veterans on Parade September 7, 2019
Annual parade held on the weekend of Patriots Day to honor the service and sacrifice of all veterans, past, and present.  Most noteworthy, Military family members can certainly carry a photograph of a loved one who would have marched, for instance.  This event begins at the Marion Junior High and ends at Washington School.

Heartland Pet Fest September 14, 2019
Heartland Pet Fest is an event for all pet lovers and their pets that promote education, innovations, and information about pets and pet products.  As a result, Proceeds will benefit Wilderwood Service Dogs, a 501c3 organization that trains service dogs for children with special needs.  This event is held at the Pavilion in Marion.

More September Events

Wonder Water Reunion September 2019
The annual celebration of the springs; which are said to certainly have healing powers, brings people from all over the region to this great city.  This festival includes a pageant, live entertainment, carnival, parade and much more.  Creal Springs City Park is the carnival location.

Magpie Market Days Fall Vintage Market September 27-29, 2019
Come shop this annual event featuring over 80 booths from all over the country.  This event showcases the best in vintage items, architectural salvage, handmade and mobile boutiques.  A portion of ALL ticket sales go to a local animal rescue.  Find this event at Magpie Market House.

Southern Illinois Hunting & Fishing Days September 28-29, 2019
Held on the fourth weekend of September, this two-day show has bass fishing seminars, the Buckskinners Village, High School Bass Classic, Dock Dogs, goose calling contests, kids shooting and archery, kids fishing hole, the Outdoor Art and Heritage Show, retriever shows and much more. John A. Logan College in Carterville is the event location.

Marion Main Street HubFest September 28, 2019
The annual celebration of the “Hub of the Universe” – Marion, Illinois.  People from all over the area come to Tower Square for a festival that has live bands, food booths, hot dog eating contest, dunk tanks, bounce houses, corn-hole, car show, and much more.  Downtown Marion is the event location.

October Events

Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch September 15 – October 30, 2019
Open annually from mid September to October 30th, the pumpkin patch is the host of many family fun activities.  For instance, walk the corn maze, ride the hayride, slide down the slides in addition to playing in the corn in the play barn.  After that, take aim with the corn cannon or just sit back by the fire and drink a hot chocolate.  However, don’t forget to choose a Southern Illinois grown pumpkin on your way out!

Leaps and Bounds Kidsignment October 3-5, 2019
This semi-annual seasonal sales event offers great clothing for your children at a low cost.  At our kidsignment sales, you can buy & sell gently worn children’s clothing, toys, baby beds, maternity clothes, shoes, boots, children’s furniture, games, and certainly much more.  Don’t miss this event because there are multiple days of sales!  The Pavilion is home to this event.

November Events

Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off November 2, 2019
Does your chili recipe have what it takes to win a cook off?  This fun event hosted by the Marion Elk’s Club and sponsored by local businesses to raise funds for local charities is one you don’t want to miss!  Above all, enjoy chili, Bloody Mary’s, bags tournaments, for instance, and so much more!

AutumnFest November 9-10, 2019
Annual craft fair with over 100 booths of handmade craft items, food and much more.  John A. Logan College in Carterville is host to this event.

ECA Gun & Knife Show November 2019
The ECA Hunting and Trade Show features shooting rifles, all sizes of knives, samurai swords, shotguns, advanced optics, collectible firearms, hunting and fishing accessories, war relics, ammo, carbines, cartridges and holsters.  These are the largest shows in Illinois, with 20-22 shows held each year statewide.  Choose from a wide variety of guns, ammo, knives, hunting accessories, hi-tech optics, and at The Pavilion.

Johnston City Hometown Christmas November 2019
Downtown Johnston City definitely will be the place to ring in the holiday cheer.  In addition, Hometown Christmas includes tree lighting, carolers, food, parade, and more.

December Events

Christmas In Carterville December 2019
This annual Christmas celebration fills the entire Downtown area of Carterville.  Firstly, visits with Santa, hot cider, hot chocolate, chili and hot dogs.  Secondly, ornament making, Candy Land Trail and letters to Santa.  After that, carriage rides, live music and the Christmas Market.  Meanwhile, the Downtown streets buzz with excitement.  In other words, carolers, kettle corn, cookies, Christmas trees, and wreaths can certainly help to celebrate the season!

God Bless Us, Every One December 2019
Marion’s First Baptist Church presents “God Bless Us, Every One” -A Broadway-Style Musical Sequel to “A Christmas Carol,” tells the story of what happened to the character Tiny Tim after he grew up.  This wonderful Holiday play, complete with beautiful costumes and sets, is a Christmas delight for the whole family.  The Marion Cultural and Civic Center is the event location.