People & Places

Your guide to the Marion Swamp Fox Festival

Event goes 'Back to Our Future' Friday through Sunday

The annual Swamp Fox Festival Parade gets underway in Marion in this photo from 2014. This year's festival takes place Friday through Sunday with the parade scheduled to step off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of 15th Street and First Avenue. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
The annual Swamp Fox Festival Parade gets underway in Marion in this photo from 2014. This year's festival takes place Friday through Sunday with the parade scheduled to step off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of 15th Street and First Avenue. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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MARION — Celebrate Marion’s heritage at the 28th annual Swamp Fox Festival Friday through Sunday. A variety of events take place in and around City Square Park, including the Fall Marion Market, Swamp Fox 5k, a pancake breakfast and the popular Swamp Fox Parade.

Other events are on tap at Lowe Park, including live music at the amphitheater, food, bingo, kids activities and a fireworks show.

This year’s festival theme is “Back to Our Future,” which aims to honor the city’s past, present and future.

Before you head out, here’s what you need to know.

Q: I noticed the theme is “Back to Our Future.” Is there a screening of the movie that has a similar name?

A: Yes. The 1985 movie “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Klopfenstein Amphitheater at Lowe Park, 4500 N. 10th St. Concessions will be available for purchase and those who attend are invited to pack a cooler and bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Q: What are the hours for the Friends of the Library Book Sale?

A: The sale takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday for members only. Memberships cost $10. The sale is open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. It takes place at the Marion Public Library, 1095 Sixth Ave.

Q: Can you tell me more about the breakfast?

A: The Marion Noon Lions Club is serving up breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Marion Heritage Center, 590 10th St. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverages. Cost is $6; $4 for children ages 5-10 and free for kids 4 and younger.

Q: Can I still register for the 5k race?

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A: Yes. The Swamp Fox 5k takes place beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on Fifth Avenue between Marion City Hall and Vernon Middle School. Registration fee is $20 and race day sign-up is available. The Little Fox Mile race for kids also returns this year with a starting time of 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Cost is $10.

Q: What are the hours for the Marion Fall Market?

A: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at City Square Park.

Q: Is there a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

A: No. The event was canceled due to lack of registrations.

Q: When is the annual parade?

A: The Swamp Fox Festival Parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of 15th Street and First Avenue, heading north on 15th Street and turning west on Sixth Avenue until Ninth Street.

Q: When is the bags tournament?

A: 11 a.m. Saturday at City Square Park. Cost is $15 per team of two. Register by Friday at cityofmarion.org.

Q: I love cycling. Is there anything for me at the festival?

A: Yes. Pedal Marion, an eight-mile bike tour of the city, takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Meet at City Square Park.

Q: Is there music planned for Saturday night?

A: Yes. Brass Transit Authority performs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Klopfenstein Amphitheater at Lowe Park. The band performs songs by the likes of Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and Stevie Wonder.

Q: When is the fireworks show?

A: 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Lowe Park. Another prime viewing location is at Oak Ridge School.

Q: When is the car show?

A: The Swamp Fox Car Cruise-In & Car Show takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Thomas Park, 343 Marion Blvd. Suggested admission is a donation of canned goods for the Marion Food Bank. The cars will cruise through town at the end of the show, weather permitting.

Q: How can I support the Swamp Fox Festival financially?

A: Purchase a festival button for $3 at the following Uptown retail locations: Kettel House Bakery, Lillians of Marion, ReAlive Metaphysical & Repurposing, The Chocolate Shop, Wits End Coffeehouse and Treasure Chest Collectibles.

Q: Where can I find more information, including a complete schedule of events?

A: cityofmarion.org. Click on the festival link.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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