The Pope County Deer Festival is a tradition that hunters and community members alike look forward to each year.
The event marks the first deer shotgun season of the year and takes place in Golconda as Pope County is the "Deer Capital" of Illinois.
Visitors get to enjoy music, vendors and food options over the three-day festival.
It kicks off Thursday, November 21st, at the Pope County High School with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and festivities starting at 7 p.m.
Activities include the baby photo contest, as well as, the Little Mister & Miss and Senior Miss contests.
Food such as hot dogs and chips will also be available for purchase.
The event starts back up on Friday at the high school at 6:30 with the Deer Festival Queen Pageant.
There will also be live entertainment during breaks in the pageant including live music and comedy routines.
Saturday will be a highlight for visitors with food and vendors along Main Street at 10 a.m.
The parade starts up at 2 p.m. with several different floats and bands.
Organizers encourage families to bring a bag for the candy that kids collect and a lawn chair for those who might want to take a seat during the event.
There will be cash prizes for an array of parade categories like Best of Show, Best of Band and Most Creative.
Although the festival wraps up on Saturday, there’s a community breakfast on Sunday and a town sweep.
This festival is the largest fundraiser for the Golconda Rotary Club, who sells pork sandwiches and t-shirts.
Funds raised go back to the community as scholarships for students or school improvement projects.
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