Fireworks are planned to light up the night sky above Ottawa on Saturday.
Weather permitting, a 15-minute pyrotechnics show will begin at 8:30 p.m down by the Illinois River.
It will be one of the highlights of “Last Call Before Fall,” a Friday through Sunday festival at the Jordan block in downtown Ottawa under a big-top tent.
Other features of the weekend event will include food, live music, a skydiving display, a Catholic Mass, a free breakfast and free children’s entertainment.
“Last Call Before Fall” is a new venture for the Illinois Valley Building Trades Charitable Foundation.
The foundation provides funds to charitable organizations, said IVBT President Steve Conrad. In the past, the organization’s major yearly event has been a golf outing. Several nonprofit organizations benefit annually.
“We thought let’s give this new event a shot,” Conrad said. “If it works out we’ll have more money to give away.”
At 4:30 p.m., the beer garden will open and food service will begin.
A sandwich plate consisting of a bratwurst, pork chop or hot dog with German potato salad, coleslaw and a cookie will be offered for $8.
“We will have drive-up to-go service for food,” Conrad said. “For people who would like that, we’ll direct them toward the south side of the Jordan block and run the food over to them.”
From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. is scheduled a performance by the Ottawa High School marching band, which will troop over from the high school.
Ideally, just about the time the band ends, three precision skydivers from Skydive Chicago will make a pinpoint drop onto Main Street between La Salle and Columbus streets — which will be closed for their arrival.
Following the skydivers, there will be entertainment by Tony Alvadado. From 8 to 11 p.m., the Bare Hambones band will perform its blend of bluegrass, rockabilly, outlaw country, blues and rock music.
The Jordan block grounds again will open at 4:30 p.m. The sandwich plate will be served until 8 p.m. Tony Alvadado again will perform starting at 4:30 followed from 8 to 11 p.m. by the outlaw country and heavy metal sounds of Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers.
The fireworks are set for 8:30 p.m. They will be conducted by downstate Central State Fireworks — the same pyrotechnic wizards who have supervised Ottawa’s Independence Day fireworks show for the past several years. The show will be sponsored by the Law Offices of Peter Ferracuti, Edward Jones of Ottawa, Marseilles Sheet Metal, JJ's Pub and Ottawa First.
In a 10 a.m. program coordinated by Ottawa First, Rev. David Kipfer, pastor of St. Columba Catholic Church, will perform Mass inside the tent. Also participating will be the Polka Mass-sters band from Joliet, which plays hymns and religious music to a polka beat.
At 11 a.m., a free breakfast will be served with the help of the Knights of Columbus. In addition, $5 bloody Marys will be sold.
The Kidz Block program will run from noon to 3 p.m. There will be karaoke, train rides, cookie decorating, sand art, balloon art, face painting, fake tattoos and real treats — all of which will be free.
Sunday, beginning by noon and running through 3 p.m., there also will be a performance sponsored by J.J.’s Pub of Artie Fitzgerald, who provides a Frank Sinatra tribute show.