Explore Mercer County

Participate in Mercer County’s rich culture through unique festivals and events. Examine our diverse history, and experience for yourself what keeps people coming back to Mercer County. Here is a sample of what to do in Mercer County!

Events & Festivals

Rhubarb Festival

Experience Aledo's rich history and unique charm at the annual Rhubarb Festival! The event spans the City of Aledo, featuring live entertainment, food & craft vendors, a 5K Rhubarb Run, a variety of rhubarb treats for sale and more. The Rhubarb Festival is true family fun - come explore Aledo and immerse yourself in the Rhubarb Capitol of Illinois! Read more

North Henderson Livestock Show

Since 1962 livestock farmers have flocked to W.A. Allgeyer Ball Park for this annual event. Local FFA members provide refreshments at the food stand, and local students are invited to exhibit. Read more.

Matherville Annual Fireworks Display

Each July the Matherville Fireworks Association lights up the sky to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.

For over half a century the event has taken place at dusk on the shores of Lake Matherville. The event offers local food options, and attracts a crowd of Quad Cities residents. Read more.

Mercer County Fair

For over 150 years, people of all ages have enjoyed summertime fun at the historic Mercer County Fair. Enjoy talent shows and baby contests, and watch the crowning of new pageant royalty! Discover why the Mercer County Fair has been a fan favorite since 1869.

Enjoy fun competitions, from livestock shows to photography exhibits. Indulge in the culinary arts, antiques and more! Youth play a part in the Fair with 4-H exhibitions, junior competitions and open shows.

Located on the National Register of Historic Places since 1997, the Mercer County Fair is vital to the social and agricultural development of western Illinois. The fairgrounds facility was built in 1853, and the Fair was first held on the property in 1869. Read more.

New Windsor Fair, Rodeo & Horse Show

On the eastern edge of Mercer County, New Windsor is home to "The Biggest Little Rodeo in the Midwest". The New Windsor Fair, Rodeo & Horse Show offers a taste of the rodeo lifestyle in the heart of western Illinois. Steeped in tradition, the event begins Thursday afternoon with the Street Parade, and ends with the final IPRA rodeo performance Saturday night.

The New Windsor Drill Team has become a favorite over the decades, with their equestrian wizardry spanning generations. The Thursday Parade continues to grow each year, and the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches serve delicious festival food! From cattle roping and steer wrestling to the kiddie parade and tractor show, the whole family will find something to enjoy. Events like the horse shows, agriculture exhibits, bingo and parades have been a part of the festival since it began in 1935. Read more.

Keithsburg Boat-In Breakfast

Since 1970, boaters have traveled from miles around to enjoy a delicious breakfast and boating on the mighty Mississippi. Read more.

Antique Days

Round out summer with Antique Days in Aledo! Explore the Antique Market on the historic Mercer County Courthouse lawn, plus entertainment and attractions for the entire family. Live music, kids activities, a pinup contest, classic car show and much more!

The fun begins at 6am with the Aledo Fireman's Pancake Breakfast, and wraps up at 4pm. Downtown Aledo is always flourishing during Antique Days! Read more

New Boston Fish & Chicken Fry

Since 1921, Mercer County residents have gathered each summer to celebrate their community at the New Boston Fish & Chicken Fry. Vendors, live music, kids activities and more make this event ideal family fun!

Enjoy outdoor tournaments in bags, horseshoes & volleyball. The famous fried fish & chicken dinners are a must have! The New Boston Fire Department provides a fireworks show off the Mississippi River, before the day ends with the street dance on the river road. Read more

Viola Threshers Reunion

Get a glimpse of farm life from days gone by at the annual event held the weekend after Labor Day at Miles Memorial Park in Viola.

Check out vintage steam & gasoline implements at the engine & tractor show. Enjoy the flea market, fishing derby and more! Camping sites are also available. Threshing, wood sawing, sorghum making and blacksmithing from the pioneer era in agriculture. Read more

Keithsburg Veterans Memorial Fish & Chicken Fry

Celebrate the dawning of autumn in Keithsburg with activities for the whole family. Read more.


Take a trip to Aledo and experience great German food & beer, live entertainment and more!

You'll also find a variety of specials at local businesses. This growing event is a perfect opportunity to explore Aledo! Read more.

Sherrard Pumpkin Fest

Celebrate the season each October at the Sherrard Pumpkin Fest! The first Saturday of the month features a pumpkin derby, scarecrow competition, pumpkin pie eating content and more.

Begin the day with pancakes at the Sherrard Fire Station, then take part in the 5k run/walk at 8:30am. Check out the retro car show, bags tournament, kids activities, vendors and more, all in the charming community of Sherrard. Read more.

Trunk or Treat

The kids will love this new phenomenon! These community or church-sponsored events offer fun for all. You'll find these Halloween events across Mercer County in Aledo, Seaton & New Windsor.

Viola Christmas Walk

Each December the streets of Viola light up for the holidays! The first Friday of the month businesses offer treats and prize drawings from 4 to 7pm. Dozens of vendors fill Winola Elementary School, and local churches & civic groups offer goodies and a live nativity scene.

Enjoy music by the Sherrard Public Schools, catch Santa & Mrs. Claus, and enter prize drawings at Winola Elementary. Bus rides are also available, with stops around town. Read more.

Holly Days

A winter weekend festival the whole family will enjoy! The event begins Friday evening with an Electric Parade & shopping in Aledo's historic downtown. Visit with Santa, take a horse drawn wagon ride through Aledo, or walk through Central Park & vote on your favorite decorated trees. Friday night ends with a soup/chili supper at the Aledo Fire Station.

Warm up on Saturday morning with the Hot Chocolate Hustle 5K run/walk. Celebrate the holidays in charming downtown Aledo! Read more.

Add an Event

Would you like to add an event to our countywide calendar? Click here! Please include in your message the who/what/when/where of your event, plus your contact information and the contact information of the event organizer. Thanks!


Films, music, history and more – it's all here in Mercer County!

Aledo Central Park Band Shell

Located in downtown Aledo, the Central Park Band Shell plays host to many free summer concerts & performances May through September. Built in September 2005, this Governor's Hometown Award winning project houses public restrooms and an in-house sound system.


Essley-Noble Museum

Essley-Noble opened in 1954, featuring prehistoric Native American artifacts. It currently houses the Mercer County Historical Society and offers a wide variety of historic community artifacts.


Keithsburg Museum

Located at City Hall in the old grade school, this museum offers five rooms of local historical artifacts.


New Boston Museum

One of many historic buildings on Main Street, this museum showcases old architecture and artifacts of Abraham Lincoln's time.


Downtown Aledo Historic District

Since its founding in 1855, the Downtown Aledo Historic District (DAHD) endures as a locally significant district as the heart of local commerce, Mercer County government, local and regional transportation, education, and local community culture for the City of Aledo. Each building in the district reflects the trend in national architecture from the period it was constructed. The District is eligible Criterion A for Commerce, Education, Entertainment/Recreation, Transportation, and Politics/Government and Criterion C for Architecture. The District, which continues to function as it has historically with a mixture of commercial, industrial, governmental, educational, recreational, social, and transportation resources, was listed in the National Register on June 7, 2016.



Blue Spruce Lodge – 503 SE 3 rd Street, Aledo, Illinois 61231

The Blue Spruce Lodge is a well-kept, 10 room motel-style facility located three blocks east of downtown Aledo. Amenities include a private bath, cable TV, and complimentary internet in each guest room. The Blue Spruce Lodge is under new ownership in 2016.

For more information & reservations call (309) 582-2533.


The Slammer Bed & Breakfast – 309 S. College Ave, Aledo, Illinois 61231

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, this former Mercer County Jail was converted into a Bed & Breakfast in 1998. Amenities include continental breakfast, TV/DVD player in each room, and alarm clock. The Slammer and Great Escape are under new management in 2016.

For more information visit: http://www.theslammer.net/ or for reservations call (309) 582-5359.

Lazy Acres Lodge – 501 S 14 th St, Keithsburg, Illinois

Enjoy a relaxing night or a weekend getaway at this peaceful lodge located near the Mississippi River. Featuring three theme rooms, Lazy Acres offers a quiets night stay. Amenities include a kitchenette, plasma TV, hot tub, patio and more.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/lazyacrelodge/ or call (319) 768-8820.