Our Sasquatch returns


Briley Houston

The Sasquatch makes his first appearance walking in the homecoming parade on Sept. 22.

Ellie Rann, Staff Writer

Free carnival rides, live entertainment, games and more are coming back to Harrisburg for the second annual Shawnee Sasquatch Festival.

The Planning Committee of Harrisburg along with many other groups, clubs, and individuals have been working hard to make this year’s Sasquatch Festival a great experience.

“The main goal of this event is to draw folks into the Harrisburg, Illinois area to really help support local businesses and highlight what our town has to offer,” Alex Watkins, a representative from Mayor John Mcpeek’s office said.

While many people don’t travel to the small town of Harrisburg, this festival will be a great opportunity to drive others to our community according to Watkins.

“With Harrisburg being the Gateway to the Shawnee National Forest, and having the Garden of the Gods in our background, this event is a prime opportunity to bring an economic drive to our area,” Watkins said.

In hopes of bringing more people to this event, the community has made some changes from last year’s festival.

“This year we will have free carnival rides from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Watkins said. “We will also have around 70 vendors which is more than double the number of vendors we had last year. We are expecting sunshine which is wonderful compared to the amount of rain we experienced at our first annual festival. That will be the biggest difference this year for sure.”

Vendors and carnival rides are not the only fun events planned for this year.

“Other events include the Sasquatch 5k, food trucks, many craft vendors, t-shirts, and a lot of memorabilia related to the Shawnee National Forest,” Watkins said. “ There will be entertainment all day such as bands located on the corner of Popular and Vine Street. The band “Mayfall” will also perform with HHS alumni Cash Thomas, Franko Teston, Jake Myers, and Jonah McGuire.”

One of the clubs that is helping with organizing the Sasquatch Festival is the HHS Key Club.

“Key Club’s role in the Sasquatch Festival is doing our part as members of the community in helping the city of Harrisburg in any way possible,” sophomore Reed Rider said.

There will be different members of Key Club helping with the event on both Saturday and Sunday of this upcoming weekend.

“I am working the Sunday morning shift, where I will be tasked to inspect the festival grounds to pick up any leftover trash. The Saturday workers, on the other hand, will have the pleasure of organizing or participating in the support of any festivities for the day,” Rider said.

Many people in the community are looking forward to helping with the Sasquatch Festival and are hoping for a great turnout.

“I believe the Sasquatch Festival will be a blast this year, and I can not wait to do my part,” Rider said.