March 2021 Volume 4, Issue 2
The 2021 Petunia Fest parade will happen this year in Dixon, as well as the annual fireworks display.
Plans for other attractions are still up in the air but Petunia Fest committees have been working on plans for this year’s event as normally as possible.
Jenna Dempsey, Vice President of Marketing, explains, “We definitely know we can have a parade. We know we’re having a Volleyball tournament- that’s outside.”
She was also able to confirm that there will be royalty this year, carrying on a 56-year tradition in the community. Candidates apply for the positions of King, Queen, male attendant, female attendant, and Pinky Petunia. Five Juniors from Dixon are chosen from the candidates to make appearances during the Petunia Fest events as well as other area parades.
The committees are trying to plan this summer’s events as they would any other year, but the uncertainty of the pandemic means that attractions and musical acts that would normally be contracted aren’t guaranteed. and thus there is reluctance in announcing names.
“In terms of entertainment, that really is up to if the state [of Illinois] is at tier five,” Dempsey said. “Are we planning? Yes. Do we know what’s going to happen? No one does.”
Because no one can be certain of what the coming months will bring in terms of Coronavirus infections, Petunia Festival planning members will not yet publicly announce names of musicians or vendors.
The parade goes through town and therefore there is no control over what people will do in their own yards, but the Petunia Fest committee “would strongly encourage social distancing and mask wearing.”
Deb Cleary,Vice President of Finance, echoes the same cautious optimism, saying, “We are planning, and hoping, but we just don’t know what will happen in the coming months.”
The Petunia Festival happens every year during the first weekend of July.