This weekend my family and I enjoyed our fourth Prairiefest near downtown Oswego in the fields between Oswego High School. This popular summer festival is always a can’t-miss for me – it’s always a good time. Prairiefest is one of the largest regional summer festivals and combines many of the popular events that visitors love. The event is centered around a large stage where numerous music acts perform through the weekend. This is surrounded by a large food concourse that includes perhaps one of the greatest variety of different concessions of any festival we regularly attend. Perhaps our favorite is Wild Bill’s Soda where you can buy a tin cup for $9-$10 and get free refills all day of a variety of old west-themed sodas including Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla and traditional Root Beer. Food options range from your traditional hot doogs, corn dogs and fries up to Mexican or Italian restaurant fare. Prairiefest is managed and presented by the Oswegoland Park District and they do a great job presenting visitors a variety of food options with very few overlaps.
This year as in years past, Vogel’s Exotic Animals was in attendance at Prairiefest. This is an extremely popular feature with the kids and my daughter had a blast. The first thing you see when you get to the area are two monstrous tortoises crawling around the area. This is the warm up. Inside the main tent, you can watch Lemurs, Kangaroos, Porcupines and a number of other exotic animals. Outside the viewing tent, there are camel or pony rides for the kids and a seperate petting zoo with goats, chickens, ducks, piglets and other animals. My daughter literally went nuts for the petting zoo. I could barely keep up with her going from area to area to see each animal.
Another popular feature of Prairiefest Oswego that my daughter will enjoy when she’s older is a large carnival presented by Windy City Amusements. There are a great variety of carnival games and rides for the kids ranging from kiddie rides up to the bigger thrill rides for teens and young adults. Windy City Amusements is a regular fixtue at Prairiefest and many of the other summer festivals in the Fox Valley. One of the many things we love so much about Prairiefest is how clean it is. Even after hosting thousands of visitors, the whole festival was kept clean and tidy – even the animal areas. We even saw quite a few workers roving through the area picking up garbage so kudos to the organizers for not overlooking this important task. The final area of Prairiefest is the Expo Village – a tent city where you can find exhibitors set up with a wide variety of arts, crafts and goods.
Overall, my family and I had an excellent time at this year’s Prairiefest. Stay-cations are all the rage so if you’re looking for a great weekend event where everyone can have fun, check out Priariefest Oswego next year.