Temperatures are warming up, and a ton of fun activities are planned for Quincy, Hannibal, and the surrounding area this summer! Here's our 2014 Summer Events Guide.

Summer events guide for Quincy, IL and Hannibal, MO
Kim Reinick

Nearly every county in our region has some sort of fair. Some are pretty large, others are pretty small, but just about everyone enjoys the fair! In 2014, headlining entertainment at the county fairs includes: Clay Walker at the Pike County Fair in Bowling Green, Craig Morgan at the Adams County Fair in Mendon, and Danielle Bradbery & Kellie Pickler at the Lincoln County Fair in Troy. The Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa State Fairs are also bringing some big-name entertainment to the Tri-States.

New London Park Days made a triumphant return to the Ralls County Courthouse lawn in 2013, and will be returning for another great year in 2014! Park Days activities include a parade, a full weekend of live entertainment, carnival, cornhole tournament, arts & crafts, a food, wine and craft beer festival, pageants and a classic car cruise. New London Park Days will be June 13 - 14, 2014.

The Quincy Knights of Columbus will host the Smokin' Good Time BBQ Challenge June 20 and 21. Cash prizes will be awarded for first through fifth place in each category, and overall. The total purse for the contest is $6,000, and the grand champion will receive $1500. Ribbons will be awarded for first through tenth place in each category. The entry fee is $225 for a 40 x 20 space. Entries will be limited to the first 50, so you’ll want to register early. Entry forms must be postmarked no later than June 14.

The annual Midsummer Arts Faire returns to Washington Park in June. Artists and craftsmen will be selling their creations, musicians and dancers will entertain the crowd, food vendors will serve throughout the weekend, and a kids area will allow children to make their own art to take home. The 2014 Midsummer Arts Faire is scheduled for June 27 - 29.

Hannibal's main tourism event will feature a nationally-known recording artist in 2014. Country music's Josh Thompson will appear at Tanyard Gardens on July 3. Other National Tom Sawyer Days activities include annual favorites like the National Fence Painting Championships, Frog Jump Contest, the naming of the new Tom and Becky ambassadors, fireworks, mud volleyball, a carnival and crafts in the park. National Tom Sawyer Days 2014 will take place July 3 – 5. Visitors from all over the world come to America’s Hometown for National Tom Sawyer Days each year.

The 28th annual Mark Twain Lake Rodeo begins with the Queen contest on July 3, and continues through July 5. Fireworks are scheduled for Friday, July 4. The Mark Twain Lake Rodeo events take place at the Warren G. See South Spillway Recreation Area below Clarence Cannon Dam. Advance tickets are $12; the cost is $15 at the gate.

The Quincy Firefighters Local 63 Country Music Concert will be at the Adams County Fairgrounds for the second year. Canadian country group Emerson Drive will be returning to Quincy to headline the 2014 concert, schedule for Saturday, June 28. Ben Swing and Dan Everhart will also perform. Track and bleacher seating tickets are $25, and are on sale at County Market at 24th and Spring in Quincy, or by phone at 217-214-1900.

Blues in the District 2014 begins June 13. This free summer concert series takes place in Washington Park every other Friday through August 22, then wraps up its season on September 12.

Down by the River benefits the Hannibal YMCA. Live music and great food are available at each Down by the River, which takes place once per month from May - August. Admission to Down by the River is $5. The Bid Deal Band played the first 2014 concert on May 9. Raised On Radio will appear in June, The Cheeseburgers in July and Madd Hoss Jackson in August.

Music Under the Stars, Hannibal's free summer concert series, begins June 5 with a performance by Steppin' Back. Music Under the Stars takes place each Thursday for nine weeks in front of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home on Hill Street. If you plan on attending, be sure to bring your lawn chairs. Dr. G & the Mudcats, Fanfare, BIGDEAL, Up Town Strings, Ben Bumbry & the Messengers, The Lucky Old Sons and Dallas “Best Blues” winner Jason Elmore are performers scheduled to appear during the 2014 season.

If Memorial Day is the “unofficial start of summer,” then the K of C BBQ could almost be the unofficial end of summer. The K of C BBQ is one of the most-loved events of the year, with it’s giant carnival, entertainment, food and drinks. It’s the last big event in our area before kids start heading back to school. In 2014, the dates for the K of C BBQ are August 7 - 10.

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