5 things to do in the Illinois Valley: Cruise, bocce and fair among activities set for Labor Day weekend – Shaw Local


The demolition derby is set to return Monday, Sept. 5, at the Tri-County Fair in Mendota. The 2018 event is shown here.

1 – Celebrate a bygone era Saturday in Streator with Cruise Night. Downtown Streator will turn into a scene from American Graffiti harkening back to 1950s style cruisin’ from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Several vendors will line the sidewalks of downtown as classic cars cruise the city’s strip. Registration begins at 3 p.m. A car show precedes the Cruise Night from noon to 3 p.m. at City Park. Registration for the car show begins at 9 a.m.


Traffic on Main Street in Streator was busy Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, with classic cars and with those who admired them as vehicles cruised up and down during the Dream Machines Car Club’s Cruise Night in Streator. The event returns Saturday, Sept. 3. (Tom Sistak for Shaw Media)

2 – Bocce with the best this weekend in Toluca. There will be more than bocce going on in Toluca with a carnival opening Friday, live entertainment, food trucks and family activities, but the state’s largest bocce ball tournament Sunday takes top billing. Tournament registration begins Sunday morning and the first games start at 11:30 a.m. Email Toni Wudtke at dt.wudtke@comcast.net to pre-register. Go to https://tolucalaborday.com/ for more details on the event.


Fieldcrest High School student Connor Reichman fires a ball at the dunk tank Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, causing a Fieldcrest cheerleader to take a dip during Toluca’s Labor Day celebration. The festival begins Friday, Sept. 2, and continues through Labor Day. (Michael Urbanec – murbanec@shawmedia.com)

3 – Go to the fair in Mendota. The Tri-County Fair begins Friday and goes through Monday. Gates open at 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday for exhibits and noon Monday. The ISP/Truck Tractor pull is the spotlight event 7 p.m. Friday at the grandstand, the Megacross Shootout Series begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the grandstand, John King will perform 7 p.m. Sunday at the grandstand and the demolition derby is scheduled 3 p.m. Monday at the grandstand. There also will be entertainment at the beer garden. Go to https://www.facebook.com/mendotatricountyfair/ for more details on events.

4 – Meet a former Major Leaguer on Saturday in Peru. Former Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees pitcher Tim Stoddard is scheduled to sign autographs from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Illinois Valley SportsCard and Collectible Show at Peru Mall, Route 251, on Saturday, Sept. 3. The event features free admission, 70 tables of merchandise and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jim Woodward and Samantha Farb rehearse in

Jim Woodward and Samantha Farb rehearse in “Wait Until Dark” at the Engle Lane Theatre in Streator. The show opens Saturday, Sept. 2. (Photo provided by Kelly Lefler)

5 – Catch a thriller this weekend in Streator. “Wait Until Dark” will run for six performances beginning 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and then 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Sept. 6-9. Doors will open one hour before showtime. Engle Lane Theatre is located at 1012 Columbus Road in Streator. Call the theater box office at 815-672-3584 or go to englelane.org for more information.

Would you like your event featured in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to The Times, NewsTribune or Bureau County Republican’s community calendar at starvedrockcountry.com/local-events/ where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.