The 22nd annual Maple Leaf Marching Band Classic will kick off the Geneseo Harvest Time Music Festival on Sept. 29 at the high school’s Bob Reade football stadium. The two-day festival, sponsored by the Geneseo Performing Arts Council, also will include festivities in Geneseo City Park. Bands from area high schools will compete for top honors at the Maple Leaf Classic Marching Band Competition from 3 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29, including bands from Rockridge, Davenport North, Galesburg, Cambridge, Galva, Kewanee, Wethersfield, Oregon, ROWVA, Rochelle, Dunlap, LaSalle-Peru, Streator, Metamora, East Peoria, Pekin, McHenry, Oak Park/River Forest and IVC. The Geneseo Middle School band will perform prior to the competition, and the Geneseo High School marching band will perform at its conclusion. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for students. Sept. 30’s festivities include a pork-chop dinner and concessions from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with karaoke and music from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Geneseo City Park, or at the high school if it rains. The seventh- and eighth-grade choirs will perform at 1 p.m., followed by the high school vocalists at 2. Choirs from grades 4-12 will present the grand finale at 4:45, with songs related to this year’s theme, “The Beatles Tribute.” The event also will include a live auction, raffle drawings, a talent show and more. Big-ticket raffle items include a year’s worth of groceries from Fareway valued at $5,200, a laptop, XBOX and a Kindle Fire. Raffle tickets ($10 each, or three for $20) are available at the festival or from band and choir members. Proceeds from the weekend will benefit Geneseo band, choir and drama students.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.