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Murphysboro Apple Festival
The Murphysboro Apple Festival is the oldest and largest, alcohol-free festival in Southern Illinois. Over 45,000 people attend the festival each year. During the five days of the Apple Festival, there are numerous activities drawing large crowds such as evening stage shows, carnival/concessions, Queen Contest, Prince and Princess Contest, contests from apple pie eating to apple core throwing, firefighters' water fights, marching band competition, car shows, Appletime 5K Walk/Run and much more. In addition, the festival's Grand Parade is one of the largest parade in Southern Illinois. The parade features an average of about 160 total units, 25 of those marching bands, and a variety of groups and organizations.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
CITY: Du Quoin
Riverside Blues Festival
Enjoy a day of Blues music with 7 different bands at the historic band shell in Riverside park. Food & beverages available. $12 in advance; $15 day of event.
St. Patrick's Day Festival
Start the day with the 5K run/walk race at 9 a.m. Watch the parade at 11am, enjoy corned beef & cabbage at the 17th Street Bar and Grill Warehouse. The Irish Kids’ Fest will feature arts and crafts, games and story telling at the Murphysboro Youth Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Grab a shillelagh and pour a green beer, or sample local craft beers while listening to the Irish music, and try your hand in the dart tournament or the Leprechaun Classic Bocce Tournament to be held at Riverside Park.
Holiday Lights Fair
The three mile drive through Christmas lights display is open every night. Weekends in December, the beautifully decorated winter wonderland in Expo Hall, will have vendors with items for sale, food, kids' corner and music entertainment.
CITY: Du Quoin
Coulterville Holiday Light Display
The half mile walk through display features a million lights and 400 Christmas figurines. Don't miss the walk through version of the "Candyland" game with favorites such as Lolli Pop Lane. Friday and Saturday evenings there's food, crafts and Santa Claus.
Praise the Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-off
They come from miles around and from out of state for the fish fry, for the barbeque, for dancing and fun at this annual event, which is held at 17th & Pine Streets. Thursday the Fish Fry buffet is at 5:30pm – 8pm, $16 at the door. DJ starts at 8pm. Fish Fry & Wing Contest awards at 9pm. On Friday, the Grand Champion Buffet is at 5:30pm – 8pm, $22 at the door, and Band & Street Dance 8pm-12 midnight. A new event for Friday evening is the People’s Choice BBQ & Sauce Contest judging from 5:30 to 8pm. Saturday the judging begins at 10am. KCBS Great American BBQ Tour demos throughout the day. All judges are MBN & KCBS certified. The Awards Ceremony is at 6pm. Sponsored by 17th Street Bar & Grill. For further information call, (618) 684-8902 and ask for Lisa or Becky or check out their web site for all information. http://www.17thstreetbarbecue.com