3 Fests Coming This Weekend To Starved Rock Country

Kites Fest, Food Trucks and Air Show Return

Join us as we explore three fan-favorites making their return this weekend, May 18 and 19, to Starved Rock Country. For more year-round gatherings, you can enjoy in the SRC area, be sure to follow Starved Rock Country on Facebook and explore our calendar at starvedrockcountry.com/local-events.

Jim Gates watches his patriotic bear take flight Saturday, May 20, 2023, during the Kites in Flight festival at Riverfront Park in Ottawa. Kite flying as well as other activities went on Saturday and Sunday.

Ottawa’s Kites in Flight


May 18 and 19

Giant kites take to the skies above Starved Rock Country during Ottawa’s third annual Kites in Flight. The beloved festival, which brought an estimated 4,000 visitors in its second year, returns for two full days of family-friendly aerial adventure at a brand-new location.

Held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, at Ottawa’s picturesque riverfront at 400 Clinton St., Ottawa’s Kites in Flight is bigger than ever before. The crowd-pleasing, all-ages fest will feature a full flotilla of enormous colorful kites dotting the sky, provided by Chicago Kite – a company known throughout the city and suburbs for bringing larger-than-life novelty kites to special events. The eye-catching kites include giant schools of fish, a King Kong-sized gorilla and giant astronaut.

This year’s fest also will feature vendor RPS Toys, a selection of delicious food and beverage sellers (Aussem Dogs, Tropical Snow, Shella’s Egg Rolls, Tony’s Tacos, Frosty Dogs and more) and free live entertainment for kids (head to visitottawail.com for a full schedule of entertainment). There will be free crafts provided by Ottawa’s Open Space Art Gallery and Studios (including customizable flower pots - complete with small plants provided by Garden’s Gate), a dunk tank, face painting, a balloon artist and coloring sheets, while supplies last. You’ll also find bounce houses, obstacle courses and air-dropped candy, held at select times and locations.

Some lines were long Saturday along City Park in Streator during the Food Truck Festival as those who wished could sample of variety of foods from many vendors.

Streator’s Food Truck Fest

May 18


The Streator Food Truck Festival, one of the most popular annual foodie events in Starved Rock Country, is set to return to Streator City Park from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18. This spring edition of Streator’s open-air food fest, now in its eighth year, will feature more trucks than ever before. A record 21 food trucks, including a number of brand-new additions, will serve up delicious meals and tasty treats in Streator’s picturesque downtown.

A few of this year’s exciting assortment of food trucks will include Ricobene’s (famous for their viral king-sized breaded steak sandwiches), Thyme Craft Kitchen (the mobile food truck spin-off of Peru’s popular farm-to-table dining destination), Dr. Vegetable (bringing over 40 years of experience selling fresh fried vegetables) and popular dessert truck My Funnel.

The day’s festivities will also include free live music (courtesy of regional favorites The Riker Maneuver and South Side Soul Kings), along with an artisan Maker’s Market, where you’ll find numerous crafts and local art available for purchase. Free yard games will be set up in the park for families and friends to enjoy. For more information, and to see more food trucks that will be in attendance, follow Streator Food Truck Festival on Facebook.

While you’re in Streator, take some time to explore the downtown. You’ll find some great murals, public art and sculptures - including a brand new Instagram-based augmented reality filter for a beloved mural that will be unveiled on Saturday. Be sure to also visit the many of the boutiques and gift stores located within just one block of the event site. You’ll be able to pick up complementary mural tour books at the food truck event site, while supplies last, or simply head to streatorpublicart.com for more information.

A TBM Avenger flown by pilot Brad Deckert departs for the runway during the TBM Avenger Reunion on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru.

Peru’s TBM Avenger Reunion air show

May 17 and 18


Starved Rock Country’s biggest air show, the TBM Avenger Reunion, returns to Peru’s Illinois Valley Regional Airport this weekend! The highly anticipated reunion show is the largest gathering of TBM Avenger planes in the United States, and features many other rare and exciting aircraft.

The annual event at Peru’s Illinois Valley Regional Airport kicks off Friday with the return of the TITAN Aerobatic Team. They’ll perform their 4-ship aerobatic routine in T-6/SNJ Texans (they will also be preforming a daytime show on Saturday). Friday Night will also feature the “TBM Glow”, a special nighttime TBM Avenger Engine Run-Up. Immediately after the TBM Glow, the air show will end their Friday Night festivities with their first ever fireworks show. The evening will also feature live music by “Regal Beagle” and a Beer Garden.

Saturday is the air show’s “Salute to Veterans” which will include the event’s popular parade and funeral flag procession. Organizers encourage all veterans, past and present, to join in the parade and funeral flag procession. Saturday’s events will begin with breakfast at 7 AM, with with the day’s headline flights happening between 1 PM and 4 PM. Both days will feature a wide assortment of warbirds from World War II and various other eras, as well as the main contingent of TBM Avengers. For more information, visit tbmreunion.org