Down on the farm

July 20-23, 2023

Wilmington, IL.

2023 Catfish Days Schedule


🎪 CARNIVAL – With $25.00 All You Can Ride Specials on Thursday & Sunday 🎡 

🌭 FOOD VENDORS—A great variety of food

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

All events on the North Island unless noted.

Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st

North Island

Saturday, July 22nd

Sunday, July 23rd

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! 

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.

Wilmington VFW Post 5422
557 W. Baltimore street
Serving Friday and Saturday from 2pm-8pm and Sunday if supplies last. Whole Catfish, Catfish Fillets and Catfish Nuggets dinners, includes choice of fries or baked potato, coleslaw and hush puppies. Dine-In and Carry-Out available.

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.

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

For all other festival inquiries, please contact

Ⓒ 2023 Catfish Days