Folks seeking creepy, kooky and altogether ooky fun will want to be in Oblong this weekend for the 52nd annual Fall Follies.
Food, music, cute kids and creepy critters are on tap, leading up to the largest nighttime parade in Illinois Saturday.
Sponsored by the Oblong Chamber of Commerce, Fall Follies gets underway early with the ninth annual Spooktacular 5K at Oblong Park. The walk/run begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. Check-in is 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. To register, call 592-3633.
Medals are awarded to males and females in the following age categories: 10 and under, 11-14, 15-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60 and 61 and over.
In addition, the overall winners will be awarded trophies and every finisher will have opportunity to win door prizes.
Post-race refreshments will be served.
There will be no shortage of food during the day. Central United Methodist Church, 112 N. Range, will host a sausage gravy and biscuit breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Food booths - as well as those selling arts and crafts and other items - will be open downtown starting at 9 a.m.
There will also be a bounce house on South Range beginning at 10 a.m. to help children burn off energy and improve appetites.
The annual Pumpkin Bakeoff will be 8 to 10 a.m. at the Oblong Municipal Building on South Range. The winner will be announced at 11 a.m.
While the pumpkins are baking, the Oblong School Chorus will be singing. The group will perform in front of the municipal building from 9 to 9:45 a.m.
The 23rd annual Fall Follies Quit Show, sponsored by the Illini Prairie Quilt Guild, has a new location. This year, it is at First Christian Church's Life Center, 206 N. Range, noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The show will feature demonstrations, quilt judge, a raffle and more. Admission is $1. For more information, call 592-4134.
Visitors to Oblong will have a choice of activities at different locations at 10 a.m.
Oblong High School will be the site of its 23rd annual Spooktacular Band Fest. Eleven bands are expected to participate this year, with field competition beginning on the football field about 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, another traditional feature of Fall Follies, the Little Miss and Mister Contests are 10 a.m. on the main stage on South Range. Ty Gray will serve as the announcer.
This is the 32nd year for the Little Miss Contest and the 27th year for the Little Mister Contest.
Fortunately, trolley rides from the downtown festival area to the Spooktacular Band Fest at the high school will run round trip throughout the day at no cost. This is sponsored by the Oblong Volunteer Firefighters Association.
Homemade soup and trimmings will be offered in the EUM Church basement, 201 E. Main, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The basement is handicapped accessible.
There are activities for children and grown-ups at 11 a.m. The Halloween edition of Silly Safaris, sponsored by Friends of the Oblong Library, is sheduled for the municipal building. It is open to all ages.
Meanwhile, a pair of scavenger hunts - one for adults and one for youths ages 6 to 13 - will take place.
There will be a peddle tractor pull at 1 p.m. at the municipal building and a pancake and sausage supper at the Oblong Fire House from 3 to 7 p.m. A free-will donation will be accepted.
Mike Porter will provide musical entertainment on the main stage from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Porter sings classic country, as well as music of the 1950s and 60s.
The annual costume juding will be 5:30 p.m. on the stage at Main and Range.
The youth catagory is open to people 18 and younger while the adult catagory is open to those 19 and older. Prizes will be presented for the ugliest, prettiest and most original costumes, as well as the best TV or movie character, best cartoon character and best miscellaneous.
Call 592-4134 for more information.
The annual nighttime parade, featuring 29 marching bands, begins at 7 p.m.
Line up for judging starts at 5 p.m. at the park. Awards will go to the best business or commercial float, best religious float and best club or other float.