The annual Black Diamond Days festival begins this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. and will continue through 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The annual three-day festival shuts down Macoupin Street in Gillespie and features popular bands, pageants, tournaments and of course, the carnival.
The festival opens today with the Miss/Jr. Miss Black Diamond Days pageant at the Gillespie Civic Center at 6 p.m. and closes at 12 midnight. On Saturday, Black Diamond Days opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 12 midnight and then on Sunday, the fun starts at 11:30 a.m. and wraps up at 8:30 p.m.
The unlimited ride wristband for $20 will be sold tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Live bands and dancing will take place every day of the festival beginning with Whiskey River tonight from 8 to midnight. Buffalo Road will perform on Saturday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and then Border Line will rock the stage from 7:45 to 11:45 p.m. The Heritage Community Band will play on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. until the parade and then Scott and Karl will close the festival down on Sunday with a four-hour performance beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, the biggest day of activity, kicks off as the sun rises at an early 5:30 a.m. with the Masonic Lodge/Black Diamond Days fishing tournament at Gillespie Lake. On Main Street, the first annual Cookin’ on Coal Cook-off begins at 8 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. with awards at 5 p.m.
The annual Black Diamond Days fun run and 5K takes place in the morning on Saturday as well with 7:30 and 8 a.m. starting times. The Patty Bernhardt & Festus dog show opens the afternoon events with a start time scheduled for 1 p.m. with the Emra Edwards III washer tournament beginning at 2 p.m.
Closing the activities on Saturday is the Little Miss Black Diamond Days and Mini Miner pageant, which will take place at the Civic Center at 6 p.m.
Sunday opens with an 11:30 a.m. community worship service taking place at the grandstand and the 35th annual Black Diamond Days parade will tour the town beginning at 3 p.m. Carnival armbands will follow the parade lasting until 8 p.m.
The beer tent will be in front of United Community Bank again this year with cold Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors products. Black Diamond Days will be giving out awesome prizes Saturday night featuring over $400 in cash, Budweiser items and Cardinal tickets. No purchase is necessary to win.
The full schedule of events can be found here.
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