South Jacksonville Celebration Returns This Weekend

By Benjamin Cox on May 3, 2024 at 12:29pm

The South Jacksonville Celebration returns today for its second year, albeit with some major changes.

The Board of Trustees approved a contract with Connor Amusements of Beardstown to return this year for the weekend-long event back in early April.

Today, kicks off the celebration with a special carnival day for Garrison School students and some students of Jacksonville School District 117. The event will be open up for the public starting tomorrow.

The Saturday festivities will kick off with a parade of about 30 floats tomorrow at 10AM. The parade will step off at West Vandalia and Sequoia Drive and head along Diamond, and then, travels to the entrance of the Prairieland Heritage Museum Grounds. Marshals for this year’s parade were selected from honor students from each grade of South Elementary School.

The carnival will then be open to the public from 11AM to 6PM. Village President Dick Samples believes everything is ready to go: “Barring the weather, everything else is in line and ready to go. You have to be accompanied by an adult if you’re under the age of 18. We are also having it during the day time versus having it at night to curtail any possible issues like we had last year. It’s the same story. There’s a few that ruin it for everyone else. We are just trying to eliminate the possibility of having any trouble.”

Village Police Chief Eric Hansell says members of the South Jacksonville Police and the Citizens Police Academy will be at the entrances to the grounds to assist with parking and to curtail anyone just dropping off juveniles without accompaniment.

Samples says that with everything going on in town this weekend, he and the board wanted to give young families the opportunity to enjoy an event together at little to no cost.