DANVILLE — The Vermilion River Fall Festival and Farmers Market always attracts those looking for fall crafts and goodies.
To accommodate the numerous vendors who call to be a part of the event, “we’re adding a fourth tent this year,” said Danville recreation manager Cindy Parson.
This year’s event also will feature a cell phone texting tournament and a motorcycle rodeo to attract some younger people and some motorcyclists eager to show off their skills and win some prizes.
The festival runs from Friday through Sunday at Ellsworth Park.
Parson said there will be 104 commercial, craft and flea market vendors and 13 food vendors, in addition to the beer tent. A vendor who sells shell jewelry comes from Florida, the farthest of any of the vendors, Parson said.
Returning activities include the children’s activities which start at 5 p.m. Friday and run throughout the weekend. There are inflatable toys and pony rides.
Also returning is a movie at dusk on Friday, bingo for cash on Saturday and Sunday, mud volleyball tournament on Saturday morning, Illiana Antique Open Car Show on Saturday, bean bag tournament on Sunday, tomahawk throwing contest and silent auction.
There also is “It’s Our Rivers Day Project,” a clean-up project, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, music and other stage activities and the golf cart rodeo on Friday and Saturday.
For the river project, the city’s Parks and Recreation Division, Keep Vermilion County Beautiful, Domino’s Pizza and Wal-Mart are sponsoring the clean-up day at Ellsworth Park.
Volunteers are needed to remove litter from the banks of the North Fork River and the surrounding park area. Individuals and groups of all ages are encouraged to participate. Volunteers should check in at the Pride Grows trailer located just west of the footbridge. Pickers and trash bags will be provided.
For more information, contact Danville parks superintendent Steve Lane at 431-2273.
The golf cart rodeo is an obstacle course to weave through with a golf cart.
“We had so much fun last year,” Parson said.
This year motorcycles are added for another obstacle course “rodeo.”
The motorcycle rodeo is sponsored by House of Bikes.
“It doesn’t involve any speed,” Parson said, but added that balance and other skills come into play.
Participants will pay a small fee to maneuver the different obstacles such as a height obstacle where a rider would try to grab something with their teeth hanging overhead, or a motorcycle passenger would try to throw something over a bar and then catch it or a motorcycle rider could see how close they could come to a cone without knocking off an egg, Parson said.
“We just try to change things up and see if we can get different people down there,” Parson said of the annual activities.
That’s the case with the Bud’s Cellular Texting Tournament.
Bud’s Express Cellular owner Neal Ehrlich said there will be contests for speed and accuracy by spelling and punctuation. There will be giveaways for participants and some prizes.
“We encourage all carriers to participate and all types of phones. It’s not specific to smart phones,” Ehrlich said.
The contests will be divided into age groups.
“A 12-year-old might be able to blow away an 18-year-old,” Ehrlich said.
The tournament starts at 4 p.m. Saturday, with the championship at 7 p.m.
“We look forward to it,” Ehrlich said. “It should be fun.”
Parson said as long as there is good weather, there should be good attendance at the festival.
If you go The Vermilion River Fall Festival and Farmers Market at Ellsworth Park (enter off Oakwood Avenue) is 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Band stage entertainment: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Suspicious Activity. Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Country Classics Band. 5-8 p.m. Saturday, James Jones Trio. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Kruger's ATA Martial Arts Inc. 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Dr. Ashton and the Root Canals.