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"The pandemic forced us to improve" | Geneseo Music Fest returns with new events

Live, local music is scheduled throughout the weekend. The festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 4 p.m. Sunday.

GENESEO, Ill. — The annual Geneseo Music Festival is returning this weekend. The event was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, but is expanding this year to include more of the community.

Geneseo City Park will be the main hub for events over the weekend. Live, local music is scheduled all weekend at the bandshell.

The festival is in its 53rd year, and will include traditions like the Father's Day parade through downtown Geneseo. That starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Organizers have also added some new exhibits in 2021. One of those additions is a presidential memorabilia display. That can be seen at the old library in town.

Organizers are also extending events to businesses downtown, to help support those businesses who struggled during the pandemic. 

"They like the idea of spreading it around town a little bit more, just to include more areas of town," said Zack Sullivan, the executive director of the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce. "So it's a larger event that's more widespread around town now instead of localized solely at the city park."

Organizers are expecting between 4,000 and 5,000 people to attend this weekend.

2021 GENESEO MUSIC FEST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS The 2021 Geneseo Music Fest is next week - Friday, June 18th 2021 - Sunday,...

Posted by Geneseo Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, June 12, 2021

Sullivan said having the music festival return represents some normalcy after the pandemic.

"Really, the pandemic forced us to improve a lot of our events," Sullivan said. "Now that we're returning back to normal, we're able to still provide the classic elements of the event but then the new ideas from the pandemic and mix it all into one for what appears to be a bigger event."

This is among the first large community events in Geneseo since Illinois fully reopened on June 11.

RELATED: Say goodbye to capacity limits. Illinois fully reopens on Friday, June 11th

To view the full schedule for the weekend, click here.