Momence Gladious Festival opens today
The 81st annual Momence Gladiolus Festival kicks off in downtown Momence, starting this evening at 7 p.m. with the princess and queen coronation on the Momence High School football field.
The first princess, crowned in 1949, was Sandra Wille-Price, and the first queen, crowned in 1938, was Bessie Harris-Reevas.
The very first Momence Gladiolus Festival dates back to 1938, and the Gladiolus Festival Association was formed in 1939.
This year’s Gladiolus Festival grand marshal is Andrea Schopf, who passed away in July of last year. She was honored upon her retirement from the Glad Fest. Andrea was president for 13 festivals from 2000-2012, and a board member for more than 20 years.
Being president meant more to her than having a title or a position of authority. To Andrea, it was more like being a mother to a child. She cared for the Glad Fest as if it were her own — she loved, nurtured, defended and dreamed about its future.
Andrea was employed by Municipal Bank for 37 years and was married to Jim and has a son named Jimmy. They will ride in Saturday’s parade in her honor.
During Glad Fest, there will be two Momence High School reunions taking place. Momence High School Class of 1973 will be gathering at Sammy’s Pizza (119 W. Washington St., Momence) at 6 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call Deb Sanders Gehring at 815-669-3162.
Momence High School Class of 1998 will be gathering at Off the Vine (121 E. Washington St., Momence) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.
Below is a schedule for the festival’s events.
Wednesday, Aug. 8
Princess and queen coronation, Momence High School football field. Free admission. 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 9
Kids’ Parade, Washington Street. 6:30 p.m.Carnival, Je-Neir Elementary School grounds. Admission $1 for ages 12 and older. 7 to 11 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 10
Glad Run for children, Reviewing Stand. 3 p.m.Jim Nesci’s Reptile Show, Reviewing Stand. 3:30 p.m.Parade of Old Cars. 5:30 p.m.Main Street Parade. 6 p.m.Carnival. $1 admission for ages 12 and older. 6:30 to 11 p.m.Beer Garden. 8:30 p.m. to midnight.Live entertainment from The Ropers, River Street Stage. $5 admission. 9 p.m. to midnight.
Saturday, Aug. 11
5K and 10K River Run, sponsored by the Lions Club. 8 a.m.Car Show, flea, craft and antique market, Momence Island Park. $3 admission. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Grand Street Parade. 3 p.m.Carnival. $1 admission for ages 12 and older. 4 to 10:30 p.m.Beer Garden. 8 p.m. to midnight.Live entertainment from High Anxiety, River Street Stage. $5 admission. 8 p.m. to midnight.Glad Fest 31 Day Early Bird Raffle Drawing, River Street Stage. 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 12
Flea, craft and antique market, Momence Island Park. Admission $3. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Beer and Bloody Mary Garden opens. 11 a.m.Bean Bag Tournament check-in and preregistration, River Street Stage.Adult Bean Bag Tournament and Beer Garden. Noon to 4 p.m.Live entertainment from KGB Band, River Street Stage. 1 to 4 p.m.Huntley Brown, world-renowned concert pianist, Momence High School auditorium. Free admission. Hosted by Momence Ministerial Association. 3 p.m.