EDWARDSVILLE - Friends of Leclaire will host the 31st Annual Leclaire Parkfest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 15, at Leclaire Park in Edwardsville. The annual festival, a celebration of the Leclaire National Historic District, is a long-standing fall tradition in Edwardsville.

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The festival will kick off with music by the Gaslight Squares, a St. Louis band with a special blend of ragtime and jazz, followed by the old-time folk music of the Lodge Brothers at the bandstand.

"Cindy Reinhardt, a festival spokesperson said: "These groups have become regular favorites of the festival. On the Madison Avenue side of the park, music will be provided by the band Hallquist, followed by Mike Keller and the Greater Good.

"New this year is an extended schedule with the festival opening at 11 a.m. instead of noon and a wider array of festival food. Sneaky’s Bar and Burger Joint will provide beer, wine and cocktails. Visitors are advised to bring a hearty appetite."

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Reinhardt said dozens of crafters, artisans, and non-profit organizations will offer a wide variety of handcrafted items for sale, everything from jewelry to tie-dye.

"The St. Andrews’s Relay for Life Book Sale brings thousands of used books at bargain prices, all to benefit the American Cancer Society. Vintage car enthusiasts can get up close with some classic vehicles on the Madison Avenue side of the park and, for animal lovers, there are pet adoptions and horses from the Mustang Sanctuary," she added. "In addition, there are children’s activity booths to entertain the little ones."

Narrated trolley tours of the Leclaire National Historic District will be back with tickets sold from the Friends of Leclaire booth for $1 (children) and $1.50 (adults). Strolling the grounds will be a re-enactor portraying Leclaire’s founder, N. O. Nelson. Those opting to take a self-guided walking tour of Leclaire (brochures provided) will find four new wayside displays giving additional information on the district at the Nelson and Lawnin homes on Jefferson Avenue, at the Edwardsville Children’s Museum, the N. O. Nelson Memorial Fountain and at Historic Leclaire Field.

2023 sponsors for the festival include the City of Edwardsville, Arbor Management, CNB Bank, Krause Properties, Leclaire Restoration LLC, Miller and Maack Contractors, the Law Offices of Keith Short, Creative Options Graphic Design, and Renewal by Anderson. Festival sponsors allow Friends of Leclaire to keep fees low for the many non-profit vendors that participate in Leclaire Parkfest.

For more information about the festival or to learn about the unique history of the Leclaire National Historic District, visit the Friends of Leclaire website at Historic-Leclaire.org, view the festival Facebook page, “Leclaire Parkfest,” or call 618-656-1294.

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