The Bethalto Homecoming is an eight decade-old Labor Day Weekend tradition, and this year's event gets started tonight at 5:00, with rides starting at 6:00. The four day festival will feature carnival rides for all ages, crafts, bingo, and a wide variety of food to tempt the palate. Fire Chief Rich Mersinger, with the Bethalto Homecoming Association, says this is the 83rd anniversary for the festival, which includes traditional carnival attractions, music, and a variety of foods.
The entertainment line-up includes the music of Exit 12, Borderline, Big Shake Daddies, and Crazy Chester. Other entertainment includes the inaugural Barbecue contest on Saturday. Monday will feature discounted rides all day long. Tomorrow morning's parade has been cancelled. The Bethalto Fire Department - which organizes the parade - is participating in the funeral for former East Alton Fire Chief Randy Mortland.