With more than 60 units in Saturday’s parade and the O’Town Hustle now a Super Sprint Triathlon that has triple the entrants from last year, city leaders are predicting a bigger and better O’Fallon City Fest this weekend, with about 5,000 expected to attend the second annual event at the Community Park.
“City Fest is alive and well for 2019. We have a solid leadership team and a great group of volunteers that are working hard to see that 2019 is better than 2018,” Mayor Herb Roach said. “The Leadership Team is reviewing the final items and already thinking about items for 2020.”
Hundreds of people help make the event happen — volunteers from local organizations, churches, businesses and families. City Fest takes place from 4-10 p.m. Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday.
“We have had many people involved but some that have been at the center of everything are: Bob Kueker, Joni Bugger-Fultz, Megan Breeding, Marcie Lapolice, Dan Witt, Ross Rosenberg, Kevin Hagarty, Todd Fleming and Roger Van Etten. Plus, major help from the O’Fallon Parks and Recreation, Police and Public Work departments,” he said.
After O’Fallon discontinued its annual Homecoming 11 years ago, residents would mention how much they missed the annual community gathering. While campaigning for mayor in 2017, Roach said that was one of his goals, to bring back some sort of city festival or picnic. Thus, City Fest was born in 2018 and declared a huge success afterwards.
“City Fest was started to help bring our community together in a united public celebration where the entire city could come together and enjoy themselves,” Roach said. “Our recent fireworks display at the Family Sports Park was another event that had the same purpose.”
Originally started as a welcome home party for soldiers returning from World War I, the Homecoming became a fundraiser for the city’s park system. Then, some troublemakers forced leaders to discontinue it, much to the dismay of residents. The desire to keep this a family event and foster a safe environment has been foremost on organizers’ minds since they started meeting last year.
City Fest will kick of at 4 p.m. on Friday with carnival rides, music, games and food. Everything closes at 10 p.m., with last call at 9:30 p.m.
“Many of the vendors are not for profit organizations from the O’Fallon area. It gives them an opportunity to raise funds that will help families and students in our area. An example of this are stands that are run by the Shiloh schools’ PTO, the high school hockey team, the OTHS cheerleaders, the Underwater Rescue Squad, the O’Fallon Moose, O’Fallon Booster Club, O’Fallon Masonic Lodge and more,” Roach said.
Alderman Rosenberg, whose committee duty is the food vendors, said the following groups will serve items:
- OUSART (O’Fallon Underwater Search and Rescue Team) is grilling hamburgers and hot dogs;
- United Church of Christ will serve fish sandwiches;
- Shiloh PTO is serving tacos and breakfast, which will probably be burritos;
- Order of the Moose will make spiral potatoes and grill brats;
- O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers will serve both nachos and funnel cakes;
- Masonic Temple will provide desserts;
- JAMS Cheerleaders will have popcorn;
- Ancient Order of Hibernians will offer soda and water; and
- The O’Fallon Boosters will serve beer only to customers wearing wristbands.
Businesses serving items include:
- Flamentco’s The Place, which will have pizza, wings and subs;
- Sugarfire Smokehouse will offer bacon-wrapped bacon, brisket and ribs;
- TC Treats will serve Philly water ices (their specialty, a premium Italian ice that is dairy-free), plus ice cream and shakes; and
- Shooters will serve beer to only customers wearing wristbands.
Changes from last year, after listening to citizens’ comments, include that all food vendors will be cash-only — no more waiting in line for food tickets. There will be ATMs on site.
However, tickets will be sold for all beverages, including water, soda and alcohol. Everyone served alcohol must be 21 and wear a wristband.
Rosenberg said promoting a sense of community is synonymous with O’Fallon.
“I think it’s a good thing for O’Fallon, to be enjoyed by everyone, and a lot of people helped in bringing it back. We’re expecting a lot more people than last year,” he said.
Autofest scheduled for Saturday
On Saturday, the activities kick off at 8 a.m. with the Autofest (car show) on the west side of the Community Park. Elmer “Sonny” Sterthman, Bobby Fournie, Jr., and Ty Sterthman, experienced in running and attending car shows, are in charge of the contest, formerly known as the Mayfest AutoFest.
It will take place rain or shine. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m., with judging at noon. All cars must be in place by noon to be judged.
No trailers, tents, car haulers, motorcycles, go karts, mini bikes, or bicycles are allowed on the show grounds. All entries must be remain parked on the show field during the show hours.
The trophy presentation is at 4 p.m., with three trophies in each class, seven special awards and dash plaques to all entrants.
For more information, contact: Elmer Sterthman at 618-632-3877 or 618-628-0476; Fournie, Jr., at 618-604-5330 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ty Sterthman at 314-496-4491or email@example.com.
O’Town Hustle, stroller strides class at City Fest
This year’s O’ Town Hustle is the Super Sprint Triathlon, which involves swimming at the Community Park Pool for 150 meters, biking for 10 miles through the park then through rolling hills north of O’Fallon, to Lincoln Avenue to Bethel Road to Witte Road and back to the park, and then a 2-mile run through the park.
The 2nd Annual O’Town Hustle is hosted by Bike Surgeon and their friends at RaceMaker Productions. For the routes, visit: Bike course: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29682558 and run course: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29682510
Jon Greenstreet, owner of Bike Surgeon and the organizer of both O’Town Hustles, said registration closes at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Registration information is available at: https://www.trisignup.com/Race/IL/Ofallon/OTownHustle
“The O’ Town Hustle has grown from a biathlon the first year in 2018 to a full triathlon this second year. We have over 130 athletes registered, with more pouring in, and we think we might clear 150 participants, over triple the number of athletes we had last year” Greenstreet said. “This race is for athletes of all levels and we look forward to a fun event this coming Saturday morning.”
Another new event geared towards mom and tots is a free stroller strides class from 9-10 a.m. Saturday, with registration at 8:30 a.m. — or register online — at the O’Fallon Community Park in the open area east of the pool, near baseball field 5.
Codi Jackson, owner of Fit4Mom618, will present a total-body conditioning workout designed for moms with kids in tow. But even if people are no longer living the stroller life, they can come on theoir own and make friends.
“This class is all about self-care in a supportive and encouraging environment. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other moms in the community. It takes a village to raise our children, so let’s build one together,” said Jackson, who recently opened her business in O’Fallon and is an ACE certified group fitness instructor.
She says to bring a stroller — any type will do — plus a yoga mat or beach towel, water bottle, comfortable walking or running shoes, snacks, toys, a drink for the little ones, hat, sunscreen and if needed, bug spray.
Afterwards, there will be a ‘playdate’ from 10-10:30 a.m.
People can enroll at https://fit4mom-618.pike13.com/group_classes/209700#/list?dt=2019-08-17<=staff and for more information you can visit the website at 618.fit4mom.com.
During the morning events Saturday, breakfast and beverages will be available.
Other activities will start up at noon. Remax Preferred is sponsoring a hot air balloon that will be available for tethered rides and Memorial Hospital will sponsor a helicopter display.
Carnival rides, parade, music options
Carnival rides will provide a quiet hour, from 1-2 p.m., for children who have sensory disorders. Rides will continue from 2-10 p.m. and wristbands will be available for purchase. The company is providing their own tickets.
At 5 p.m., the parade will start at the Old City Hall on North Lincoln and will go south on Lincoln to Seventh Street, where it will turn in toward the Community Park.
As they were last year, Marcie Lapolice has organized the parade and Roger Van Etten has helped get the floats together.
That sense of celebrating what a strong community O’Fallon has drives the committee.
Alderman Dan Witt, in charge of the music entertainment, said new this year is a blues band Saturday afternoon. Paul Bonn and the Bluesmen will play from 1-4 p.m.
Paul Bonn has been playing the Midwest for 50 years, and the band is constantly performing in the St. Louis area. Paul Bonn is on vocals, harmonica, and percussion, John Higgerson on lead guitar, Robert Lloyd on bass, and Derek Bonn on drums. In addition to traditional blues, they play soul, R&B, Cajun covers and originals.
On Friday night, Social Remedy returns from last year to play from 7-10 p.m. They are a popular cover band who have been together for 10 years and play a variety of music. Band members include Shelley Webb, former lead singer of Dixie Express, Jack Poole, Mike Hatfield, and Steve Twiehaus.
On Saturday, 3rd Floor, will perform from 7-10 p.m. Last year, they played Saturday afternoon.
O’Fallon PD will be present for safety
For safety, the O’Fallon Police Department’s on-duty shift commander and patrol officers will monitor the event. The on-duty supervisor will have the authority to call in additional O’Fallon police officers to address safety concerns.
If there is a forecast for inclement weather, the O’Fallon Public Safety Department will coordinate with local weather outlets and the National Weather Service to determine if the storm poses an imminent risk to the attendees’ life/safety. Should such risk arise, the O’Fallon Public Safety Department reserves the right to suspend and/or end the event.
One of the officials everyone will see out there, including morning clean-ups, is City Clerk Jerry Mouser. He has been a major advocate for the event’s return and subsequent scheduling, describing it as “good for the soul of the city.”
Mouser said it’s good for developing a sense of community.
“People see their neighbors. It’s a bonding situation. I think that’s important. Then, they look out for each other,” he said.
Plans are to make CityFest a regular event the third Friday-Saturday in August.
The O’Fallon Community Park is located at 401 E. Fifth Street. There is an event page on Facebook.