The 47th-annual Rend Lake Water Festival is underway in Benton.
This year's celebration, themed "Journey Through the Decades," kicked off with a business scavenger hunt April 29, and the event will wrap up on May 5. Today marks the opening of the carnival, open daily from 6 to 10 p.m. through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Thursday features another new event, the "Slow Glow Bike Ride," at 6:30 p.m. This is a family-friendly ride that passes some of the historic sites and haunts of Benton.
Friday features the Little Mister and Little Miss Rend Lake competition at the Collins/Malkovich Event Center at 7 p.m., and entertainment on the Benton Square by the Backroads Jammers from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Saturday, the parade kicks off the day with the traditional 10:02 a.m. start time, weaving its way from West Main Street, through the Benton Square, before ending on Joplin Street.
The parade awards will be presented at Capitol Park at 12:15 p.m. followed by live music, first responders safety demonstrations, and the talent competition. Never 2 Late will perform at 12:30 p.m., and The Old 37 Band will take the stage at 6 p.m.
For a complete list of events and information, visit the event page online at www.benton westcitychamber.com.