Metro-east's biggest homecoming kicks off in Mascoutah

News-DemocratJuly 31, 2013 

This is the 25th year Harold Knoth Sr. helped plan one of the biggest homecomings in the region and, by extension, built one of the best city parks in the metro-east.

He is president of Mascoutah Improvement Association, which runs the Mascoutah Homecoming and Augustfest. Many proceeds go back into Scheve Park.

"I'm really proud of that park," said Knoth, 74, of Mascoutah, a retired Ford service employee.

Scheve has doubled in size, now covering 100 acres. The association built a $500,000 agricultural hall, installed a walking trail and made many other improvements.

"We've probably put over $2 million in the park since I took over," Knoth said.

Thousands of people will converge on Scheve this Friday through Sunday for the 86th homecoming.

Activities include tractor and truck pulls, carnival rides, live music, agricultural exhibits, 4-H judging, a queen pageant, bike ride, horseshoe tournament, raffle drawings, tours of the Berger-Kiel Log House and plenty of food and drink.

"It's clean, it's safe and it's fun," Knoth said. "A lot of these homecomings don't have any place for people to sit, but we've got all kinds of tables and chairs."

Parades begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Main Street and Lebanon. They will go west on Main and right on Sixth, continuing to Scheve. This year's theme is Volunteers for Mascoutah.

A classic car show is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in a shady area of the park.

"It's probably the biggest car show in downstate Illinois," said public relations chair Greg Hoskins.

Live music at the homecoming will include Tom and Kathy LaQuet, Hillbilly Authority, the Night Ryders, the Rough Ryders, Social Remedy and Mark Wehmeyer and Jeff Guest.

"We have three venues, basically," said committee chair Tom LaQuet. "We have a main stage. That's our (train) depot. Then we have another stage next to the pole barn. ... Then on Sunday, we'll have music out by the car show."

Tom and his wife, Kathy, perform mostly old-time country, covering legends ranging from Merle Haggard to George Jones. They like the homecoming crowd.

"People are real responsive," Tom said. "They holler and clap, and a lot of people dance (in front of the main stage)."

The arena lineup consists of a truck pull on Friday, the plow and weight (antique) tractor pull on Saturday and the "super smoker" diesel tractor pull on Sunday.

"The truck pull is probably our most popular event," said committee chair Greg Zinck. "People just like it. There's more speed involved than with the tractors."

At a glance

What: 86th annual Mascoutah Homecoming

When: Friday through Sunday (see schedule)

Where: Scheve Park

Admission: Free

Information: Call Greg Hoskins at the Mascoutah Herald at 618-566-8282

Mascoutah Homecoming schedule

TODAY (pre-homecoming events)

4:30 p.m. -- Horse show

4:30 p.m. -- Pole Barn food opens

7 p.m. -- Cat show

FRIDAY

11 a.m. -- Poultry show

1 p.m. -- Rabbit show

5 p.m. -- Food stands open

5:15 p.m. -- 4-H Fashion Revue

5:30 p.m. -- 4-H public-speaking contest

6 p.m. -- Illinois State Fair winners award ceremony

6 p.m. -- Swine show

7 to 11 p.m. -- Truck pull

7 to 11 p.m. -- Music by Tom and Kathy LaQuet at the pole barn

7 to 11 p.m. -- Music by Hillbilly Authority at the depot

SATURDAY

7:30 a.m. -- Beef, dairy, sheep and goat shows

10:30 p.m. -- Food stands open

1 to 4 p.m. -- Berger-Kiel Log House open for tours

1 to 4 p.m. -- Ride matinee (discount tickets)

5 p.m. -- Parade

5 to 11 p.m. -- Horseshoe tournament

7 p.m. -- Plow and weight tractor pull

6:30 to 10:30 p.m. -- Music by Night Ryders at the pole barn

7:30 p.m. -- 4-H livestock auction

7:30 to 11:30 p.m. -- Music by Rough Ryders at the depot

SUNDAY

7 a.m. -- Bike ride

8 to 10 a.m. -- Breakfast

11 a.m. -- Food stands open

11 a.m. -- Super Showmanship Contest

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- Music by Tom and Kathy LaQuet at the car show

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Classic car show

Noon -- Project Animal Release

1 p.m. -- Children's tractor pull (registration begins at noon)

1 to 4 p.m. -- Berger-Kiel Log House open for tours

1 to 4 p.m. -- Ride matinee (discounted tickets)

1 to 4:30 p.m. -- Music by Cactus Moon at the depot

3 p.m. -- Queen coronation

5 p.m. -- Parade

6 to 9 p.m. -- Music by Mark Wehmeyer and Jeff Guest

7 p.m. -- Diesel smoker tractor pull (registration at 5)

7 to 11 p.m. -- Music by Social Remedy at the depot

10 p.m. -- Raffle drawing for $3,000, $1,500 and $500

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