9th St. Downtown Mt. Vernon, IL 62864 (618) 242-3151
Fall Fest is Mt. Vernon’s largest event of the year. Occurring on the last weekend of September each year, families, couples, or friends can enjoy this kick off event to fall! The weekend is filled with live entertainment, festival food, vendors, a car show, parade, and so much more. Use this guide to make the most of your Fall Fest weekend in Mt. Vernon.
Vendors and Kids Zone
Take your kids to the kids’ zone and let them slide down inflatables, get their face painted, play laser tag, and other fun activities. Shop through the block of vendors selling homemade craft items, clothing retail, knick knack finds, lawn items, information, and more.
Every year, Friday evening’s live entertainment alternates between rock/pop and country. Two bands perform on Friday beginning at 5:15 p.m. and ending around 10 p.m. Grab a lemon shake up or funnel cake from the multiple food vendors and enjoy an evening listening to talented artists and musicians.
5K for Special Olympics
Wake up refreshed and ready to race! The annual 5K for Special Olympics benefits the local special Olympics teams in Jefferson County. The race starts at 8 a.m. It is timed but walking is allowed. Kids can enjoy a “Fun Run” when the 5K race is over.
At 8:00 a.m., enter 9th St. off Harrison St. and view the annual 100+ entry car, truck, and motorcycle show! The cruise-in is sponsored by the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation and runs until 2 p.m. Take a chance at winning door prizes and listen to nostalgic car show music DJ’d by Hot Rod Nights. New this year, Kingdom Seed Ministries Café will be offering breakfast for purchase from 8- 10 a.m.!
Food Vendor Lunch
Come hungry for festival food and treats! Pick up lunch from one of the multiple food vendors lined up on the streets at Fall Fest. Festival fare includes BBQ sandwiches, corn dogs, nachos, cheeseburgers, ribbon fries, chicken, pretzels and cheese, tacos, and more.
The annual Fall Fest Parade is one of the most popular events at Fall Fest! Beginning at 1 p.m., the parade features over 100 entries of decorated floats, cars, firetrucks, walkers, horses, and more. The parade also features a major marching band competition including middle and high school bands from across the region.
Dinner at Joe’s Pizza & Pasta
819 Jordan St, Mt Vernon, IL 62864 (618) 242-2600
While walking south down 9th St., browse the vendors one more time as you head to Joe’s Pizza & Pasta for dinner. This local, classic Italian fare restaurant offers delicious pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more. Savor the flavor of Chicago style or thin crust specialty pizza, tortellini, baked spaghetti, shrimp alfredo, Italian beef or meatball sub, chef salad, breadsticks, or fried mushrooms.
Drinks at the Beer Tent
Not far from Joe’s Pizza, near the main stage, enjoy craft beer or wine from the refreshment tent. Enjoy the company and make new friends as your Saturday night at Fall Fest begins.
Every year, Saturday evening’s big headliner alternates between rock/pop and country. Saturday night live entertainment usually lasts between 6- 10 p.m. Enjoy the fall temperatures as the sun goes down and the fun begins!
Food Vendor Lunch
This is your last day to try something from the yummy food vendors at Fall Fest. Look for unique festival food or satisfy those fried cravings. Don’t forget to purchase a bag of kettle corn before the day is over, as it is a fall staple in Southern Illinois! Also try a refreshing sno-cone or another lemon or orange shake-up.