The Pontiac Parks & Recreation Department has announced the schedule for their annual celebration of Pontiac’s outdoor recreation programs. Parkpalooza is planned for Saturday, July 26th and will take place at Humiston-Riverside Park, located on Water Street just west of the downtown business district.
The day will begin with the P.R.O.U.D. 5K Color Blast Run that is slated to begin at 8:00 AM at the First Lutheran Church’s parking lot. Check in for runners/walkers starts at 7:00 AM and continues until 7:45. At 10:00 AM the Lutheran Church will begin serving their Pancake Brunch.
At Noon, contestants in the “Ribberfest” cook-off will begin to prepare their signature dishes. Individuals or teams wishing to compete in this BBQ cooking contest should register at the Pontiac Recreation Center located at 900 North Elm Street. Racks of Ribs will be provided. Contestants are expected to provide seasonings, grills, and any other paraphernalia required for the best Rib recipes.
The Cardboard Boat Regatta is planned to launch at Play Park, on the Vermillion River near the boat ramp in Play Park. The Regatta was a smashing success last year, and the teams competing this year are expected to be just as creative and courageous. Registration form for Cardboard Boat Race teams can be picked up at the Pontiac Recreation Center or found online in the Parks & Recreation Department section of the City’s website – www.pontiac.org.
A variety of family and children’s games will start at 4:00 PM and continue until 7:00 PM. There will be five inflatables, sponsored in part by Country Financial, for the kids to jump and play on, a dunk tank, relay races, a scavenger hunt, a watermelon-eating contest for kids, and a pie-eating contest for adults.
A free community picnic will start at 5:00 PM and run till 7:00 PM, or until the food runs out. Hotdogs, fresh sweet corn-on-the-cob, and water will be served. Free ice cream will also be available. The food will be available while supplies last, so come early!
Live entertainment has always been a highlight of Parkpalooza, and this year’s lineup of talent is special. Starting at 4:00 PM, the Joliet American Legion Band will play. The band is an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to providing an excellent musical experience for loyal audiences since 1946. Comprised of veterans, professionals, senior citizens, students and more, the band carries a unique sound similar to the precise disciplined tradition of John Philip Sousa. The Joliet American Legion Band performs a variety of music including patriotic marches, show tunes, classical selections, and contemporary pieces, and can be heard year-round in local parades and concerts. Nationally, the band has performed for seven U.S. Presidents and has been awarded an unprecedented 38 National and 52 State titles. However, the Joliet area and surrounding communities continue to be the heartbeat of the organization.
The American Legion Band will be followed by Under Authority, who will take the stage at 5:00 PM. Under Authority describes themselves as a “Christian band of all sorts.” The musical range in all inclusive and they provide an entertaining show. Michael Hall, a magician of note, will perform mystifying feats beginning at 6:00 PM. Then, at 7:30 PM, the Vermillion Players will bring some great music to the Parkpalooza event. The last act for the evening will be Dueling Piano with Felix and Fingers. This duo has played across the nation and was a huge success at last year’s Parkpalooza. They are expected to be just as lively and entertaining this year.
The Boys and Girls Club will hold their annual Duck Race beginning at 7:00 PM. Proceeds from the race are used to support the activities of the club. Red Fez Concessions will have snow cones, popcorn, lemonade, and ice tea available for purchase starting at 4:00 PM. The Glitter Fairy will be painting faces for a small fee during the evening hours, and an artist will be drawing caricatures of either children or adults at a reasonable price.
The Parkpalooza is a great way to celebrate all of the wonderful things which fall under the umbrella of the Pontiac Parks and Recreation Department. Everyone is welcome!