FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana

FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana – May 9th, 2018

Hey readers! It’s Rachel.

Happy May and happy Spring (finally)…. or Summer?  It’s 80 degrees and sunny today, as I longingly look out of my office window at this beautiful day.  In other words, the weather is starting to warm up and that means that Festa is just around the corner!  Voted Best Festival in Illinois in 2014, this event takes place every Memorial Day Weekend.  If you’re from Southern Illinois or surrounding areas, you probably already know all about the live music, great Italian food, Bocce, family fun, rides, etc. that this Downtown Herrin event puts on each year.  But- just in case you don’t know all the details or it’s your first time attending the festival, I’ll try to give you a crash course of some FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana!


First-off… let’s dive into the live music!

If you listen to the local radio station 92.7 TAO (what’s blaring on my morning commute) then you’ve heard the commercials about the Thursday night headlining band…


Thursday night, May 24thPop Evil (try and contain your excitement) will be slaying their hits like “Waking Lions” and “Trenches”.  Saint Louis based band, For the City, will be opening for them at 6pm.  Cat Daddy’O, a bluesy cover band, will also be at the Giardino Tent at 7pm.  If you like Rock music- this is your night.

Friday night, May 25th, is Country night!  Throw on your cowboy boots and enjoy country star Lee Brice!  Local favorites like Kali Lynn and John Spicer will be the openers at 6pm.  At 7pm, Dr. Fever and the Venus Flytrap will be in the Giardino Tent.

Saturday, May 26thThe Beach Boys will take the stage.  The.  Beach.  Boys.  Need I say more?  The always versatile Corey Evitts, and the energetic Mike Renick Band will open at 6pm.  The Squad Fathers and The Deplorables will take over the Giardino Tent at 4pm. 

Sunday, May 27th, is the Headbanger Spectacular.  Rock/Metal bands Seamstress, Slaughter, and KIX will open for Queensryche at 5pm.  At 4pm, Clayton Gribble will be performing at The Giardino Tent, and at 8pm Fiddle Rick & The Bourbon Boys (one of my favorite local bands) will play. 

Monday, May 28th, is Faith & Family night, and Jordan Feliz will be opening for Natalie Grant at 5pm.  Four Deep will be at the Giardino Tent at 1pm.

Side note: ALL musicians playing in the Giardino Tent are FREE to watch.  All other performances on the main stage will require a ticket for entry.


Now, let’s go over your three viewing options for the main stage acts:

            1. Pit (absolute closest to the main stage, standing only-no chairs allowed)
            2. Reserved Seating (directly behind a walkway separating this area from the pit, there are two sections of sixteen rows of lawn chairs)
            3. Piazza-General Admission (large open area including picnic tables in the far back, sound tent area, portable toilets, and beverage stations)

All areas allow readmission if you have your armband on or your hand stamped.

*For information regarding wheelchair/handicap accessible seating, and other FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana, please contact


Important: For the first time, Festa is doing a weather guarantee!  Should a headline act cancel, ticket holders will be eligible for compensation.  If a headline act is cancelled, the ticket will be valid for any other night of the festival.  Cancellation refunds will only be available to customers who DID NOT use their ticket for entry on any other night.  PLEASE refer to HerrinFesta Italiana’s website or call their direct line during the festival if you have any questions regarding cancellations and how to go about gaining refunds, etc.

To purchase tickets head over to: (tickets can be purchased online, at retail ticket outlets, and on-site at the Ticket Booth, located near the Bocce courts.)



Now that we’ve covered the tunes, let’s move onto some activities that will be going on.  Each day there will be an array of contests and a fine arts and crafts exhibit, for instance, to spotlight the creative talents of regional artists and craftsmen.  The Midway features great food, a carnival, and a variety of vendor booths.  Entry into the Midway is free, and open to all ages.  Trust me -there’s something for everybody!  The information below will be more like a list format and doesn’t include the live music lineup I mentioned earlier.  For more information about specific events, head over to and click on the event you’d like to see more information about.


Saturday, May 19th
Southern Illinois Opry – Herrin Civic Center 6pm

Sunday, May 20th
Little Mr./Miss Pageant & Baby Contest – Herrin Civic Center 2pm

Monday, May 21st
Miss HerrinFesta Scholarship Pageant – Herrin Civic Center 7pm

Tuesday, May 22nd
Mayor’s HerrinFesta Honoree Banquet – Herrin Civic Center 6pm (ticket required)

Wednesday, May 23rd
Talent Contest – Herrin Civic Center 6pm

Thursday, May 24th
Hartley Fine Art Exhibit – Hartley Art Gallery 11am


The Weekend:

Friday, May 25th
Prayer Breakfast – Herrin Civic Center 7am
Robert A. Ferarri Corporate Division Bocce Tournament – Herrin Bocce Court 10am
Hartley Fine Art Exhibit – Hartley Art Gallery 11am
Denzil Walker/Hal Norment Festa Golf Tournament – Pine Lakes Golf Course 11am
Kids Bike & Pet Parade – OLMC Parking Lot 4pm
Sponsor VIP Party – Herrin Civic Center & Giradino Tent 5:30pm

Saturday, May 26th
John A. Logan Tri-Festa Triathlon – John A. Logan College 8am
Hartley Fine Art Exhibit – Hartley Art Gallery 10am
Grand Parade – Park Avenue 11am
Adult-Child Bocce Tournament – Herrin Bocce Courts 12:30pm
Bigga Nose Contest – Herrin Civic Center 1:30pm
Pasta Sauce Contest – Herrin Civic Center 1:45pm
Festa Poster Award Reception – Baldwin Piano & Organ Center 2pm
Pasta Eating Contest – Herrin Civic Center 2:30pm
Italian Art Exhibit Reception – Herrin City Library 3pm
Grape Stomp – Walkers Bluff Giardino Tent 3pm

Sunday, May 27th

HerrinFesta Car Show – Herrin City Park 9am
Special Intention Mass – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church 11am
10th Annual Poker Run – J&J Time Out Sports Bar on West Cherry St. 11am (see more info. below)
Hartley Fine Art Exhibit – Hartley Art Gallery 12pm
International Championship Bocce Tournament – Herrin Bocce Courts 1pm 

Monday, May 28th

Road Races – Various Locations 7:30am
Memorial Day Service – Doughboy on North Park Avenue across from City Hall 9am
Hartley Fine Art Exhibit – Hartley Art Gallery 11am


Poker Run Info:

The friendly staff at visitSI and volunteers put on the Poker Run each year along with Black Diamond Harley-Davidson!  If you’ve never heard of a Poker Run, this is basically how it goes: it’s an organized event where participants, usually driving motorcycles or other means of transportation, must visit five checkpoints, drawing one playing card at each stop.  The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run.

Registration begins at 11am at J&J Timeout in Herrin, and the first bike out will leave at 12pm.  Last bike out will leave by 1pm.  All bikes must be back at 6pm, at the final stop, J&J Timeout, to draw the final card.  Similarly to last year, cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple (includes dinner from Triple E BBQ from 6pm-7pm) and additional poker cards can be purchased for $10 (limit 1 per person).  Likewise, cars and motorcycles are both welcome!  For the first time, we have a rain date set for Sunday, June 3rd in case we experience inclement weather.


2018 Route (maps will be provided at Registration)

Registration: J&J Timeout in Herrin
1st stop: Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion (lunch provided)
2nd stop: Big Boys on the Loop in Vienna (you can find me at this stop!)
3rd stop: Fuzzy’s Tavern in Cobden
4th stop: Walker’s Bluff GENERAL STORE in Carterville
5th stop and last card draw: J&J Timeout in Herrin
= Total Mileage is 92.8 miles

The Best Poker Run Hand prize will be a $1,000 travel voucher sponsored by Mindy’s Mile Travel Agency!  This will be announced between 6pm-7pm and you MUST be present to win.  Everyone will also have a chance to win various gift baskets donated by our businesses on the route (no purchase necessary).  We will also be doing a 50/50 drawing.

FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana


So, I know it got a little wordy and informational in here, but to wrap things up……


Some FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana goers should be aware of:

-Parking: there are NO designated parking areas!  This is an event that takes over the entirety of Downtown Herrin, so park where you can find a spot!  In other words, not in someone’s front yard – be courteous.
-NO coolers or lawn chairs are allowed in the Piazza
-Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase inside the Piazza, therefore can only be enjoyed in the Piazza (if you wish to leave the Piazza area, finish your drink)
-You CAN bring food and non-alcoholic beverages in the Piazza (available for purchase in the Midway area outside the Piazza)
-If you are under the age of 12, you must be accompanied by a parent/guardian to be in the Piazza
-Above all, BE SAFE & HAVE FUN! 

If you have any other questions, certainly reach out to us here in the office at 618-997-3690 or contact (760) IT-FESTA or call (618) 942-5055 for more FYI: HerrinFesta Italiana.  In conclusion, thanks for reading another one of my ramblings and hope to see you all at the festival!