Saturday, September 9, 1:30PM
The Bureau County Homestead Festival Parade starts on North Main Street (Marquette Street) and finishes on South Main Street (Pleasant Street) and is approximately two miles in length.
Rules & Information
If you are interested in being an entry in the Homestead Parade, please enter using the link below after reading these important rules:
- Registration will open on June 1st and end at 5pm on August 4th – late entries will not be accepted.
- To maximize everyone’s experience, this year’s parade will be limited to the first approximately 70-85 registered participants. Due to long parade lengths in the past, the Homestead Committee is working on providing an effective and energetic parade that is limited to two (2) hours long. Registration will close once we reach capacity.
- All entries should be unique and authentic. Entries should be floats, bands, musical entries, etc. All entries should be creative as possible!
- When completing the entry form please keep the announcer’s comments section to 2-3 sentences as our Parade Announcer will only be spending 10-15 seconds on each entry.
Registration is closed.
Grand Marshall, Jeff Hunt
The Homestead Committee is delighted to announce that Mr. Jeff Hunt of Princeton, has been confirmed as the Grand Marshal for the Bureau County Homestead Festival Parade. With this year's theme, "Let Your Dreams Take Flight," the parade will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
Mr. Hunt has deep ties to the Princeton community, having moved to the area in 1978 and graduated from Princeton High School in 1983. He earned his degree in Finance, with a minor in Microbiology, from Western Illinois University with honors in 1987. Mr. Hunt has had a distinguished career in banking, beginning with the FDIC in Chicago and continuing at Commercial National Bank in Peoria. In 1992, he returned to Princeton to work at a new
bank opening in Princeton, later known as Princeton Banking Centre, later known as the a branch of the 1st National Bank of Manlius.
Currently employed at Central Bank Illinois, Mr. Hunt has been an active member of the Princeton community since 1992. He has dedicated his time and talents to numerous organizations and events, including the Princeton Ambassadors, Princeton Elks Lodge, and Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Hunt has been very active and dedicated to the work of Princeton Rotary, serving as treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors. His coaching and volunteer work with local youth sports, Junior Achievement, and Young Life demonstrates his commitment to the next generation of Princeton citizens. In addition, he has been involved with organizations such as the Homestead Committee Steering Committee, Princeton Industrial Commission, Freedom House Foundation, Rotary Club Princeton, and Gateway Foundation.
Mr. Hunt is the proud father of three sons: Brody (28) of Janesville, WI; Mason (27) of Grand Rapids, MI; and Nolan (23) of Manteno, IL.
The Homestead Committee is confident that Mr. Jeff Hunts leadership, dedication, and passion for the Princeton community make him the ideal Grand Marshal for this years Homestead Festival Parade.
Past Grand Marshalls
1983 Kathryn Hayes (actress - As The World Turns)
1984 Mary Win Walter
1985 Dr. and Mrs. George Rathbun
1986 Charles Schultz
1987 Neil Kastor (Chicago Bears - Brian Baschnagel & Jim King were honoraries)
1988 Hugh Skinner
1989 Mary Milligan (organizer of the first Homestead Festival 1972)
1990 Harold and Marge Steele
1991 Mayor Richard Welte
1992 Roger and Joann Swan
1993 Howard and Pauline Trimble
1994 Norm and Marge Faber
1995 Dr. Nelson and Dr. Kowalski
1996 Ralph and Pat Rod
1997 Bob and Kay Telfer
1998 Don and Nedda Simon
1999 Don and Diane Evans
2000 Roger and Linda Gustafson
2001 Al Chase
2002 Mr. & Mrs. Philbrook
2003 Bill Nelson
2004 Glenn Browning
2005 Daryl Becker
2006 Robert Lautzenheimer
2007 Gary Bruce
2008 Mayor Keith Cain and Julia
2009 Dick Nelson
2010 Gary & Bea Coates
2011 Steve Samet
2012 Lou Brown
2013 Penny Best
2014 Julie McCutchan
2015 Jan Milles
2016 Gary Swanson
2017 Dr. Martin Faber
2018 Jim Smith
2019 Ted Johnson
2020 Steve Bouslog
2021 Steve Bouslog due to Covid 2020
2022 Tom Tester
Additional Parade Rules & Information
We are looking forward to seeing you in the Homestead Festival Parade on September 9th in Princeton, IL. To maximize the quality of the experience for you and the several thousand of people who will watch the parade, please respect these simple rules:
- Check-in will be done by sending a text message to 815-303-2187 with your entry name once you arrive at your check-in location. Your specific parade line-up location will be provided via email by September 1st. There will not be flags or anything noted in the yards this year – you should line up at your location as identified on the map you receive the week prior to the parade.
- To keep the parade moving in a timely manner, every entry should maintain a safe distance from the entry in front of them. To avoid any delays, all entries must maintain a distance of no more than three (3) car lengths away from the preceding entry.
- Entries should not stop during the parade – entries must always maintain movement.
- For the safety of the large number of small children along the route please take care and take caution when distributing candy and other items during the parade. Especially items thrown from a float or vehicle. Candy must be thrown on the ground near viewers in parade route.
- Please DO NOT consume alcoholic beverages along the parade route. City of Princeton law prohibits public possession of alcohol.
- Please DO NOT allow riders to board a truck or float after it has moved from your line-up position. DO NOT stop at Marquette and Main or any other location on the route to load riders. This is dangerous and disrupts the flow of the parade.
- Please DO NOT park any vehicle on private property.
- If your entry has animals, you are responsible to clean up after them.
- Please DO NOT stop to dismantle your unit at the end of the parade until you have reached Pleasant Street.
Parade Awards and Judging
Parade float judging will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. Please be in your spot on the line-up route by 11:30 a.m. if you want to be considered for judging. The following awards are available:
- The Owen Lovejoy Memorial Trophy (two awards: Commercial and Non-Commercial)
- Most Humorous Entry (two awards: Commercial and Non-Commercial)
- The Mayor’s Trophy (two awards: Commercial and Non-Commercial)
- The Grand Marshal’s Trophy (two awards: Commercial and Non-Commercial)
- Church/Religious Organizations (one award: Non-Commercial)
If you are selected for an award, you will be notified with an award poster to place on your float before the parade starts. You will also be asked to stop in front of the announcer’s booth on South Main Street for a quick photo with the Homestead Committee and to receive your plaque.
Marching Band Information
The Homestead Committee invites all Marching Bands to be a part of the 52nd Annual Homestead Festival Parade. We hope you will join us as we endeavor to celebrate the performing arts!
All bands must be registered by August 4th using this link: https://bit.ly/2023HomesteadParade
- All bands will be in the first half of the parade to ensure they can make it to the award/food ceremony close to the same time and to avoid overheating in band uniforms.
- Bureau County Bands will alternate as leaders every year: Princeton High School (2022), Bureau Valley High School (2023), and Hall High School (2024).
- A donation will be made to each participating school to show our appreciation to the schools for making the trip and being a part of the parade. Checks will be handed to the band directors on the day of the parade. Donations are based on band size as outlined below:
- 25 – 49 members $ 300.00
- 50 – 74 members 500.00
- 75 – 99 members 750.00
- 100 + members 1,000.00
Information for the Day of the Parade:
- Buses can drop off participants at Rotary Park. All bands will wait at Rotary Park for the parade to start.
- Once buses drop off participants, they can make their way down to Midland States Bank. Buses can park there and wait for band members to finish the parade.
Band Judging and Awards:
- Trophies will be awarded to the marching bands based on musical performance, precision, and crowd appeal.
- Judging will take place as the marching bands pass through the announcer’s booth on South Main Street. In the past, the committee has asked for bands to stop and perform in front of the booth; however, in order to keep the parade moving steadily bands should play throughout the parade route and past the announcer’s booth (no stops to perform).
- When the marching bands get to the end of the parade route, continue straight to the Midland States Bank Parking Lot. At the Parking Lot, the Princeton Rotary Club will be serving hotdogs and a drink to all band participants. Once all marching bands complete the parade, awards will be given. While bands are waiting for awards, they are welcome to load up all their equipment on the bus and hang out at the ballpark.
- Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in categories based on band size.
Parade Royalty Float Information
The Homestead Committee invites all Bureau County Parade Royalty to be a part of the annual Homestead Festival Parade.
All royalty must be registered by August 4th using this link: https://bit.ly/2023HomesteadParade
In an effort to shorten the parade and create a fun atmosphere for parade royalty, Culvers of Princeton has graciously agreed to sponsor a float for all Bureau County royalty! It will be a large semi that is decorated and would have seats on the float for all Royalty with the Queens being at the highest point of the float with their name and town shown. Bureau County Queens will lead the float in the first three (3) cars followed by the semi with the rest of the royalty (Wyanet, Walnut, Ohio, etc.)
- You will receive an email before the parade listing all towns and royalty that will be on the float.
- Information on when/how to help decorate will come from a representative at Culver’s. The email address used to register for the parade will be supplied to the Culver’s representative.