By Bob Balgemann


BELVIDERE – It’s time to mark those calendars with the dates of June 26, 27 and 28. The city’s annual Heritage Days festival will be held that weekend with all kinds of events being held those three days.

A committee led by Mayor Mike Chamberlain has been meeting weekly and has come up with the following schedule of activities and times:


Maxwell Street Days, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., harkening back to the time when that popular street in Chicago attracted thousands of bargain-hunters.

Taste of Belvidere, 4 to 8 p.m., throughout the downtown.

Go-kart racing, 6-9 p.m. on the track in the parking lot along State Street, between PNC Bank and the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Music concert at the Apollo Theater on State Street, near the Kishwaukee River, featuring The Color Morale, with a tentative starting of 6 p.m.


More go-kart racing kicks off the day, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. A static display of vintage race cars will be set up near the track from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Another 8 a.m. start will feature one of the new wrinkles in this year’s celebration, a 5K race at Spencer Park. It will continue until 11 a.m.

Dari Ripple, also on State Street, will feature a variety of activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be pony rides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vintage cars and trucks will be back, parked on both sides of State Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There are numerous other 10 a.m. starts, such as the Brick restaurant’s art show along First Street, all the way to the historic community building; the historical society museum’s summer market, lasting until 6 p.m. and Maxwell Street Days, until 6 p.m.

Another of the new events is Paint on State, which will allow youngsters to paint a square along that downtown street from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Belvidere Hometown Farmers Market will reopen for the summer, with hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

And there will be a pig roast from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Mobile Quick Stop.


A patriotic worship service will open the final day of the festival at 10 a.m. at the historic community building on First Street.

Activities will return to the Dari Ripple at 11 a.m. and continuing to 4 p.m.

Bed races will be back, this year being held from noon until 2 p.m. on the State Street Bridge.

The popular Heritage Days parade tentatively is set to step off at 3 p.m. at State Street and Logan Avenue, downtown.

Events then will shift to the Boone County Fairgrounds off Illinois 76, just north of the Route 20 bypass.

There will be barrel fights from 5 to 9 p.m.; kids activities from 5 to 8 p.m.; music provided by the Silver Creek Band from 7 to 9 p.m.; and fireworks from 9 to 10 p.m.  Food will be available for purchase throughout the evening.


Scheduling an event of this size takes a lot of work and there are bound to be details needing to be addressed during the organizational process. Here are some that the committee had to deal with during its weekly series of meetings:

Parking for the disabled will be in the city hall lot at 311 Whitney Blvd.

In addition, golf carts will be available to transport those in need of a ride around the various locations.

An event book will be available that has information on all of the events happening during the three-day period.

Commemorative T-shirts will be for sale.

Approximately 100 volunteers will be helping with this year’s festival.

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