Wilmington prepares for Catfish Days
By Mary Baskerville For The Herald-News July 11, 2012 8:24AM
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:05AM
WILMINGTON — The Kankakee River flows through Wilmington, defining the town in many ways. But, it’s Forked Creek that is the source of one of its most continuing summertime traditions, the Catfish Days celebrations.
According to local lore, the event has its roots in the creek overflowing and bringing catfish. Today, most restaurants highlight catfish specialties on their menu throughout the celebration.
This year’s celebration kicks off on July 26 and runs through July 29.
The Catfish Days Parade is slated for 1 p.m. July 29 starting at Mill and Water streets. This year’s theme is “Catfish Days Goes On A Safari.”
Most events will be held at North Island Park. The activities each night include the carnival, food vendors, music and a beer garden.
July 26 is Teen Night, with food vendors and the carnival opening at 6 p.m. Teen karaoke begins at 8 p.m., and a movie begins at 8:30 p.m..
July 27’s events also begin with the 6 p.m. opening of the carnival, food vendors and beer garden. At 6:30 p.m., Jim Nesci’s reptile show begins. Full Speed, a classic rock band, entertains at 8 p.m.
July 28 events
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Flea market craft show in the downtown area.
10:30 a.m.: Skinners bike and pet parade
11 a.m.: Bike rodeo
Noon: Wilmington Fire Department fire fights, downtown
Noon: Food vendors and carnival open
12:15 p.m.: Magic show by Bozo alum Jim Brown
1-4 p.m.: Petting zoo
1:30 p.m.: WHS Spiritline performance
1:30 and 4 p.m.: Spotted owl demonstration
2:15 p.m.: David L. Fisher, The Rope Warrior
3:15 p.m.: The Nearly Famous Circus Boy Bobby Hunt
3 p.m.: Beer garden opens
8 p.m.: Soul Miner, rock music from the 1960s to present
9:30 p.m.: Outdoor laser light show
July 29 events
8 a.m.: Catfish Days 5K run
Noon: Carnival and food vendors open
1 p.m.: Catfish Days Parade
2 p.m.: Beer garden opens
2:30 p.m.: Coloring contest winners announced
2 p.m.: Carnival, all you can ride, $15
2-6 p.m.: Karaoke, by Rockin Karaoke
6 p.m.: Wilmington Area Community Band will perform at Memorial Park, Williams and Vine streets.