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JALC's Autumnfest returns this year — with new Marion location

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For the first time in two years, the popular John A. Logan College Autumnfest craft and vendor fair is back for 2021, but in a new location.

With planned construction of a pedestrian walkway between John A. Logan College’s main building and the Logan Fitness facility, the Nov. 13-14 event will be held at the Oasis Entertainment Center – the former Illinois Star Centre Mall – in Marion.

Chris Naegele, director of events and conferences for John A. Logan College, said he is looking forward to the return of Autumnfest and explained the new venue will allow for some additions to the event.

Autumnfest John A. Logan College

Vendors and visitors fill the gymnasium at John A. Logan College during an Autumnfest craft fair.

“We’re looking forward to having our crafters back together. We’re excited about that,” he said. “We also are excited about the new location. We are not only going to have the crafts there, but we’re also going to haves some college entertainment there.”

The event will include performances by the John A. Logan College Orchestra and the John A. Logan College Band as well as others.

“We’ll also have some of our theater performers, some presentations and some demonstrations, so we’re going to have some ‘value-added’ features. This new location will give us room to spread out and other opportunities,” he said.

Jeremy Pinkston, director of business development for the Black Diamond Group, which includes the Oasis Entertainment Center, said the facility is pleased to host Autumnfest.

“We have a great working relationship with the college and have worked with them on many, many projects during our 15 years of existence,” Pinkston said. “After not having Autumnfest last year because of COVID and with the current construction plans at John A. Logan, they really didn’t want to not have it again this year, so they reached out to us and we thought it was a great fit.”

Pinkston said the facility’s size should provide amble space for vendors and demonstrations as well as thousands of visitors. He said attendees should enter the East entrance to the Oasis, located between Dillard’s and the former Fujiyama location.

In addition to the vendors at their booths, Naegele said a number of local craft guilds will participate in Autumnfest. He said groups include quilting organizations, wool spinners, crossstichers and others. He added that a variety of food options will be available as well.

The college expects more than 100 vendors to participate in the event.

“We are expecting a great show,” said Brenda Glodo of Pinckneyville-based Glodo’s Original Kettle Korn. “I’m hoping that with the new location, the show will be bigger and better than ever.”

He said a $5 adult admission helps the college cover costs for Autmnfest.


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