Palestine is once again the place to be for Labor Day weekend, with a star-studded rodeo and plenty to do for all ages from Main Street to Leaverton Park.
This weekend's edition of the Pioneer City Rodeo will see top stock contractor Championship Pro Rodeo returning with more cowboys and cowgirls to compete for points, buckles and prize money.
Last year some of the top cowboys in the country competed for a Pioneer City Buckle and this year some of the best in the world have already signed up to ride, rope and wrestle. For example, Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, is the best bareback rider in the world right now and is expected to return.
Rodeo performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. in Pioneer City Arena, adjacent to Leaverton Park on the East side of Palestine.
Also at Pioneer City Arena, the "Show After The Show" in the Coors Light Beer Tent has become the place to go after the hard-riding rodeo action. This year organizers have again booked two of Central Illinois' favorites, X-Krush and Matt Poss Band, along with Southern Indiana performer Jason Clutter.
While the rodeo may be the main event, more activities will pop up all over Palestine.
Saturday will be an early start for most people as the annual Chuckwagon Breakfast begins at 7 a.m. on the south end of Main St. Pancakes and whole hog sausage will be served for a free will donation.
The antique gas engine exhibit and swap meet will be going on all day at the LaMotte Trading Business building on East Grand Prairie Near Main the entire day.
Main Street Madness will officially begin at 7 a.m. Saturday The Main Street Committee has put together a number of activities this year. There will be a farm toy show from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. in the Palestine High School gym.
The Collector's Belt Buckle auction is at 9:30 a.m.
There will be a junior peddle tractor pull on Main at 10 a.m. sponsored by the Palestine Eagles Club. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
There will be a PRCA Cowboy Camp at the Pioneer Arena for future rodeo champs starting at 9 a.m.
Meet John Harrison, the bullfighters and Miss Rodeo Illinois contestants for Lunch with the Clowns in the Main St. Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There will be a Corn Hole tournament at 1 p.m. on Main, with a championship match the same time Sunday if need be. Registration begins at 11 a.m.
Don't forget the other vendors and food booths sponsored by local organizations along Main Street.
The Robinson Lions Club will have a golf cart drawing at 10 a.m. Anyone in the mood for Binga will find games being played in the Village Hall Pioneer Room, for the first time, beginning at 2 p.m.
From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. several local bands and entertainers will be performing in the band shell in Leaverton Park.
Sunday starts with annual church service at the band shell at 10:15 a.m.
Main Street Madness continues at 11 a.m. with vendors and food booth until 4 p.m. There will be bean dinner on Main Street for a donation, starting at 11 a.m.
The Championship round of the Corn Hole tournament will be held at 1 p.m., if needed.
The Miss Labor Day Pageant, begins at 2 p.m. on Main Street
There will be live entertainment all afternoon at the band shell in Leaverton Park beginning at 12:30 p.m., along with food booths and assorted vendors.