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Only Oswego

Park District Provides Local Open to PrairieFest

May 11, 2015 04:22PM ● By Steven Jack

PrairieFest features a local welcome in 2015. 

While it brings national entertainment and food offerings, at its heart, Oswego’s 27 year festival celebrates a strong community.  For four days, people come from far and wide to belong to it. This year, when the festival opens on Thursday, June 18, guests from outside the area will be welcomed by the talent, flavors, and fun that is all home-bred.

The first festival aromas will be from the grill this year. The Oswego Foundation of Educational Excellence (OFEE) will be hosting their annual BBQ in the Castle Bank Event Tent from 4:30 – 7:00pm. Delicious chicken and pork chops will be cooked to perfection on an open grill.  Great food all priced for families.  OFEE is a community group focused on enhancing the District 308 classrooms by supporting teacher requested grants, enhancing classrooms with creative resources, and awarding scholarship.  All it takes to help OFEE raise funds for these projects is enjoying their PrairieFest Barbecue on Thursday, June 18.

There will be some spectacular entertainment to accompany your barbecue on PrairieFest’s opening night.  Under the direction of the acclaimed Peter Barsch, Spotlight, Oswego East High School’s vocal jazz choir will delight, followed by Voice Activated, Oswego East’s fantastic Rock A Capella group. Get ready to be blown away by the talent who lives next door!

Dating back before PrairieFest, the community band concert has been a part of this village for 40 years. The Prairie Winds Concert will take the main stage at 6:30pm under the direction of Kelly O’Neill and Stevan Rexroat. Any musicians interested opening up their instrument case and joining the band should contact Ginny Bateman at (630) 554-4430 or

After the Prairie Winds Concert, the Oswego High School Step Team will perform. This group creates an exciting performance around rhythmic cadence movements using only their hands and feet.  The high school students have won competitions nationally, and bring their skill to the PrairieFest main stage.

There is an opportunity for stars with their eye on a future PrairieFest main stage performance as well.  The Children’s Tent will be the place for any aspiring local musician to take a turn in the spotlight. Listen Local, PrairieFest’s open mic opportunity, will run from 7-8:30pm.  Artists are given three minutes of complimentary stage time. Sign-up begins at the Children’s Tent on Thursday night at 6pm. 

PrairieFest will be hosting all the favorites on opening night. Me Too@ PrairieFest will have the carnival open specifically for families who benefit from an amended experience. The carnival will be without lights and music, and some rides will be able to modify speed. Unlimited wristbands for exceptional families will be available from 3:30 – 5:30pm.  Visit the Expo Village, meet favorite Princesses and Pirates, and enjoy time at the Carnival.  Lay down your blanket for the Sixteen Candles Band. Their 80’s Dance Party is some of the best played music rocking festivals this summer.

The Oswegoland Park District looks forward to four days of fun. Opening up the community festival with so much local talent is the perfect start.

Thursday’s Schedule:

  • 3:30-5:30pm: Me Too @ PrairieFest
  • 4:30-7:30pm: OFEE Barbecue – Castle Bank Event Tent
  • 5:00-9:00pm: PrairieFest Expo Village
  • 5:30-6:00pm: OEHS Spotlight Choir – Main Stage
  • 6:00-6:30pm: Voice Activated Choir Rock Acapella – Main Stage
  • 6:00-7:00pm: Princesses & Pirates – Children’s Tent
  • 6:00-10:00pm: Windy City Amusement Carnival
  • 6:30-7:30pm: Oswego Prairie Winds Concert – Main Stage
  • 7:00-8:30pm: Listen Local – Children’s Tent
  • 7:30-8:00pm: OHS Step Team – Main Stage
  • 8:30-10:00pm: Sixteen Candles Band – Main Stage