COAL CITY — Crafts, entertainment and food are set to converge at Coal City's annual Octoberfest on Saturday.
The GFWC—IL Coal City Junior Women's Club is hosting the 27th Octoberfest from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Coal City. The festivities will take place along S. Broadway Street, where the street will be closed down for vendors.
The first event of the day is the Angels of Hope brick dedication at Campbell Park. The event will be followed by a children's parade at 10 a.m.
Event co-chairwoman Marsha Vaughn said attendees can expect to see a reptile show, a petting zoo, inflatables, entertainment in addition to the craft vendors. Another big draw is the parade, set for 3 p.m. This year, more than 50 entries to the parade were received. Following the parade, a band is set to perform at Campbell Park from 4 to 5 p.m.
Co-chairwoman Patty Wagner said food vendors include traditional fair foods, as well as an old-fashioned root beer truck, pizza vendors and the Lions Club's ribeye steak sandwiches.
Vaughn said the event is the main fundraiser for the club's charities, including its scholarships.
"It helps fund us for the year," she said. "This is our big one."
Vaughn said the group hopes additional funds raised will help fund a club need.
"This year, we're going to try to raise money for a new community sign," she said — an electronic one.
Vaughn said the current sign is broken, the letters fall off and it can be difficult to handle in bad weather.
"We're looking forward to getting a new sign where you can type in the information," she said.
She said the new sign will hopefully be more visible, too.
Vaughn said her favorite part of Octoberfest is seeing the local dance groups and singers perform.
"My favorite part has always been the entertainment because we try to use as much local entertainment as possible," she said.
She said the group is still seeking local talent for its Octoberfest Has Talent competition, which is open for children over the age of five through adults. Entry forms can be found through the organization's website at http://ccjwc.net/octoberfest.htm.
Wagner said she had a harder time finding her favorite aspect.
"I actually enjoy the whole day," she said.
She said the junior women's club is a group of women who are always excited to get together to put the event on, no matter what the weather or turnout.
"It's just amazing thing to see all the women working together," she said.