BYRON (WIFR) -- One of Northern Illinois’ premier summer music and family festivals – ByronFest – will offer big-name entertainment and exciting activities for the entire family July 8-10.
Sponsored by the Byron Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Byron Bank, this community carnival and music fest is staged in historic downtown Byron just one block north of scenic Illinois Route 2. From gospel to country to four decades of rock & roll, ByronFest offers something for every musical taste and entrance to every stage is free with a general admission button! Economically priced games and rides, a Taste of ByronFest that spans three blocks as well as a catfish tournament and bags competition offer fun for the whole family!
The festival weekend kicks off July 7 with GospelFest held at Neighbors Rehabilitation Center, 811 W. Second St. The festival officially opens at 5 p.m. Friday, July 8, with a carnival midway that that will keep tots and teens busy; 20 food vendors and entertainment on three stages.
Athletic events begin Saturday morning with a 5K run, a bags tournament and men’s and women’s softball tournaments. The Hib Reber Memorial Class Car, Truck and Bike Show, located just off the main drag at the United Church of Byron at Second Street and Colfax, is open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Catfish Catch and Release will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Byron boat dock. The Arts and Crafts show is on display Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Byron Public Library, and history buffs should not miss the judged Quilt Show, held in the Byron Museum of History, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festival grounds open at 11am featuring more food, music and fun until midnight.
The fest begins again Sunday when the festival gates open at 11 a.m. The ByronFest Parade steps off on Third Street at 2 p.m. just one block north of the business district.
Buttons guarantee admission into the festival area, but are not required for admittance to the carnival midway, arts and crafts show, quilt show, car show, or sporting events. Advance buttons are sold at numerous Byron businesses for $6 each prior to 4 p.m. on Friday July 8. Buttons purchased at the gate are $8.00 each. Children 7 and under are admitted free! Sunday is Family Day – no button required!
ByronFest Buttons on sale now!
“The ByronFest Steering Committee was really committed to keeping prices as low as possible this year,” Byron Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Blake Horras said. “Our goal is to keep our costs down so that we can pass those savings on at the gate: We want everyone who wants to attend ByronFest to be able to.”
Buttons for the July 8, 9, 10 music and family fun festival may be purchased in advance for $6 each. (Buttons are sold at the gate for $8 each.) However, children seven and under are admitted free, and Sunday is always Family Day at ByronFest – no button required.
ByronFest is a venture of the Byron Chamber of Commerce and is presented by Byron Bank. The three-day festival features entertainment on three stages, a Taste of ByronFest, two beer gardens, a carnival midway, children’s area, quilt show, car show, arts and crafts show, parade, 5K Run, Catfish Tournament, Bags Tournament and more.
Buttons are sponsored by the Byron Lions Club and required for Friday and Saturday. Sunday is family day and no buttons are required. Advance buttons are available by mail and at all of these locations in Byron: Attorney Maria Berger Office, Byron Bank, Byron Mini- Bank, Byron Chamber of Commerce, Byron City Hall, Byron Fire Department, Byron Park District, Casey General Store, Celestial Sun Tanning Salon, Curves of Byron, Kelley’s Market Mobil in Byron, Lake Louise, Prairie View Golf Course, Snyder Pharmacy and Grocery, Stillman Bank, Subway, Three Sisters Café.
Locations outside of Byron include: Byron Bank of Davis Junction, Oregon Chamber of Commerce, Snyder Pharmacy of Winnebago, Snyder Pharmacy of Oregon, Sterling Federal Bank of Sterling and Mt. Morris, Tease Salon in Stillman, at Stillman Banks in Stillman Valley, Oregon, Rockford, Roscoe/Rockton, Rochelle, and Kelley’s Market Mobil in Pecatonica, Mt. Morris, Rockford on Main Street, 11th & Sandy Hallow, and Winnebago, WilliamsMcCarthy in Oregon.
By popular demand, the ByronFest Steering Committee is bringing a back a variety of different sporting activities that have become a ByronFest tradition over time.
ByronFest will be hosting a Cat Fish tournament for the second year in a row. The catch and realease tournament will be held on Saturday July 9th from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. There will be additional prizes for the tournament as well.
The always-popular ByronFest Softball Tournament will be held at this years festival. Games are played all three days of the festival. To enter your teams in the tournament and for more information contact Ray Bielskis at the Byron Park District 815-234-8435.
ByronFest will again present the popular Bags Tournament, sponsored by Country Financial. The tournament will be held on ByronFest grounds Saturday July 9th beginning at 11 a.m. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place teams. There will be other prizes and giveaways, as well.
The ByronFest 5K Run will also be held Saturday July 9th with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 8 a.m. The race will begin at Jarrett Prairie Center and run the outer trail of the Forest Preserve. Awards will be given in multiple categories. The run is sponsored by Ogle County Physical Therapy with support services provided by the Byron Park District, Byron School District, Byron Forest Preserve District and Byron Fire Protection District.
Registration packets, as well as sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for the Catfish Tournament, the Bags Tournament and the 5K Run are available at the Byron Area Chamber of Commerce office, 418 W. Blackhawk Drive, Byron, or online at www.byronfest.org.
Entertainment Line Up
The musical lineup for the three-day ByronFest includes an eclectic mix of generations and genres that will keep fans of all musical persuasions hustling from one stage to the next.
Headliners for the music and family fun festival (July 9-10-11) include “Mike & Joe,” “7th Heaven,” “Penny Mae Dixon,” and “Your Villain My Hero.”
The musical portion of the festival begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. with “Audio Drive” on the Festival Stage followed at 9 p.m. by “Mike and Joe.” “Hi Fi Superstars” will open the Carnival Stage at 6:30 p.m. followed by headliner “7th Heaven” at 9 p.m.
The suburban Chicago-based rock and pop band “7th Heaven” headlines ByronFest this year after having the chance to open for Bon Jovi at Soldier Field last summer. Frontman Keith Semple and “7th Heaven” have a huge original catalogue; they play hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
The music portion of the fest kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with “Tristin Bushman” on the Carnival Stage, and the “Jamie Campbell Band” on the Festival stage. At 1:00 the fun continues with Brian Lavender Band on the Festival stage and Frontiers on the Carnival Stage. At 3:00 be sure to catch Lizzi Neal Band at the festival stage and Hillbilly Rockstars at the carnival stage. At 5:00 on the festival stage you will be able to catch Trash 80’s and on the carnival stage Stage Fright will be performing.
The great music mix continues on Sunday with “Rollin Whiskey” on the Festival Stage and “The Mike & Adam Show” on the Carnival Stage.
The Alternative Stage also has a full line up on Friday and Saturday evenings, check out the ByronFest website for the line up in the coming weeks.
All music venues are accessible with the general ByronFest admission button, which are on sale now for just $6 at various Byron and other area business locations. Buttons are $8 at the gate. Sunday is always “Family Day” at Byronfest – no button required.