2021 Catfish Days Schedule


🎪 CARNIVAL – With $20.00 All You Can Ride Specials on Thursday & Sunday 🎡 

🌭 FOOD VENDORS—A great variety of food

🍻 BEER GARDEN—serving ice-cold beverages Friday-Sunday

PHOTO BOOTH—provided by Christian Life Assembly

CUP IN HAND TOURNAMENT—South Island Ball Fields

All events on the North Island unless noted.


6pm—Food Vendors Open
6pm-10:00pm—All You Can Ride Night At The Carnival–$20
6pm—National Guard Rock Climbing Wall & Obstacle Course
6pm—Brain Freeze Challenge- Ice Cream eating contest- sponsored by Lickety Split
6pm—Fear Factor Contests- Sponsored by Wilmington Coalition
Middle school age- registration 6-6:30pm, contest 6:30pm
High School age- registration 7-7:30pm, contest at 7:30pm
Adults (yes adults)- registration 8-8:30pm, contest 8:30pm
6:3opm-9:30pm – DJ Roy Gregory playing classic rock, country, and today’s hits.


6pm – Carnival & Food Vendors Open
6pm – Beer Garden Opens
6pm- Big Z Golf Cart and Powersport show, Downtown- Sponsored by Big Z Repairs
8pm-midnight – Live Entertainment –No Decision- Classic to modern rock- Sponsor Hopkins Towing
9:30pm- Friday Night Fireworks

9am-4pm – Flea Market Craft Show –Downtown
9am-4pm –  D’Orazio Ford Catfish Days  Courtesy Shuttle
Look for the shuttle to stop at the Walk Bridge, South Island Park, and the Winchester Green Shopping Center
10:30am Skinners Bike And Pet Parade—Sponsored by Skinners Animal Clinic
Line up begins at 10am at   Old Booth Central—Route starts at Jackson to Main St to Route 53 and ends at North Island. Trophies presented at the stage after the parade
11am- Debbies Miniature Horse Carriage Rides
Noon – Food Vendors and Carnival Open

12:15pm- Jim Brown Famous Magic Show- former Bozo Alum 

1pm- WHS Spiritline Performance

2:30- *Free* Show- Blues Brothers at the Mar Theater- show begins at 3
2pm- Park District Events:
-Kids tie-dye shirt making- -Shirts will be provided
-Minute to Win It Contests
-Park District Tumbling -performance
-Will County Forest Preserve -informational table
-Meet the Board Members
-Come meet those that represent you

4pm- Bean Bag Tourney- Registration at 4, games at 430.  In the Beer Garden
5pm- 1st Annual Catfish Tournament- Sponsored by Nicks Bait & Tackle
Registration at South Island Park Pavilion- Weigh In Sunday @ 9am South Island
8pm Live Entertainment – Brat Pack- playing all your favorites from the 80’s- Sponsored by Austin Tyler Construction
9:30pm –Outdoor Laser Light Show- sponsored by the City of Wilmington


10am-4pm- Catfish Days Car Show hosted by Rusty Nuts Car Club
Noon- Carnival & Food Vendors Open
1pm—Catfish Days Parade—Parade starts at Middle School and ends at Park District office( Ryan St and Water Street(Route 102)) *Bring a can for Kuzma*
2pm- Beer Garden Opens—Special $1.00 draft all day!
2pm- 6pm All you can ride begins $20.00
3pm- Reptile Show by Coal Black Exotics
3pm- FEAR FACTOR FINALS- Champs from all 3 groups compete
2pm- DJ- Karaoke
3:30pm- Coloring Contest Winners Announced
6pm- Festival Closes

THURSDAY- Off the Island Music
7pm to 10pm Larry and Loretta – Wine Cafe
9:30pm to 12:30 am.Alex Hoffer – The Corner Tap

FRIDAY- Off the Island Music
7pm Last Call Band – Wine Cafe 
8pm to midnight John David Daily – Route 66 Bar & Grill
9pm  Silver Strings, Coopers Grove and Poison’d Crue – The Rustic
9pm to 1:30am Ethan Bell Band – Tuffy’s Lounge

Saturday- Off the Island Music
2pm to 6pm Superfly Rednecks – Route 66 Bar & Grill 
5pm to 9pm Nobody’s Business – Route 66 Bar & Grill 
6pm to 9pm Mike Dabrowski  – The Corner Tap 
8pm Greg Bender and T-Bird Huck – The Wine Cafe
9pm the Lacey’s, Whiskey and Harmony, Warpath and Bon Voyage – The Rustic
9:30pm to 1:30am Righteous Hillbillies – Tuffy’s Lounge
9pm to 1am Hyper DJ and J.P.E.G.

Sunday- Off the Island Music
1pm Blues Festival featuring multiple bands – The Rustic 
6pm Wilmington Area Community Band – Veterans Memorial Park 
8pm to midnight DJ Trip – The Corner Tap

Catfish Dinners

Would it be Catfish Days without a delicious catfish dinner? Stop in any of these restaurants
during the festival and to enjoy mouth-watering catfish meal deals! 

Hayden’s Crossing
107 N. Water Street
Offering a variety of catfish specials all weekend long including catfish filet dinners; catfish po boys; catfish tacos and catfish gumbo along with “adult” lemon shake-ups to wash it all down. 

The Rustic Inn
108 N. Water Street
Choice of whole or filet farm-fresh catfish, coleslaw, potato wedges, and an ear of corn.

Wilmington House Family Restaurant 
210 Bridge Street
Broasted whole or filet catfish dinner with hush puppies, potato salad, and choice of either soup or salad. Dine-in or carry-out.

Between the Buns Food Trailer
113 E. Baltimore Street
Located at Route 66 Bar and Grill by Mud Volleyball. Catfish nugget baskets and the best ribeye steak sandwiches in town.

A Little Catfish Days History

Catfish have long been a specialty of Wilmington. Why? Because they played a large part in initiating the event, Catfish Days, after Forked Creek spilled over its banks and flooded the cellars of a section of Wilmington called, “Catfish Town”. This section was located in a hollow behind the Chicago and Alton railroad depot before the turn of the Century.

The first Catfish Days Festival was held in 1976 as a part of the bicentennial celebration of our country. Because of its acceptance and the enthusiasm it engendered, it had become an annual event. The Wilmington Area Historical Society coordinated the festival for the second and third years.

By the sixth year, it had grown so large that a separate Catfish Days Committee sponsored by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce was established.

1985 would hold the last Catfish Days festival, it would be 14 years before it would be revived. In 1999, the city of Wilmington once again celebrated the festival.

To date, Catfish days is running strong with many things to see and do for all ages!


For information about the Catfish Days flea market on North Water St. please contact The Women of Wilmington via their Facebook page or Brenniej@aol.com

For all other festival inquiries, please contact CatfishDays@gmail.com