Arts and Entertainment

Toy drive in memory of Alex Faulkner under way

PAXTON — Each September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, friends and family of the late Alex Faulkner collect toys to fill the treasure chest at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Peoria, where Faulkner was treated for cancer for three years.

List of upcoming community events (Sept. 6, 2017)

The Bellflower Area Christmas Cantata is in need of participants. Anyone from Bellflower and surrounding communities is invited to join other singers in the annual event. There are no auditions. The first organizational meeting will be held in early October. Rehearsals will be scheduled in October and November, and the cantata will be performed in early December.

Expanded Harvest Fest set for weekend


GIBSON CITY — Gibson City’s annual Harvest Fest, which began in 2015 as a single-day event, has expanded this year to a two-day festival featuring numerous bands, vendors and entertainment.

Beth Nuss — creator of Fighting Illini 'war chant' — not happy about ban

CHAMPAIGN — During the 1980-81 school year, as Lou Henson was on the sidelines at the Assembly Hall leading his Fighting Illini men’s basketball team, Beth Nuss turned to her fellow University of Illinois pep band members and asked them to play a simple melody.

List of upcoming community events (Aug. 23, 2017)

Paxton’s farmers’ market — called “The Market on Market” — will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. each Thursday through September at Majestic Park, located at 135 S. Market St. in downtown Paxton. The farmers’ market is sponsored by the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce, PRIDE in Paxton and the City of Paxton.

Paxton festival 'more of a group effort now'

PAXTON — Every September since 2012, Ben Grice has felt like he’s the host of a “really good party” when the annual Paxton Swine ‘N’ Dine BBQ Contest & Festival comes to Paxton.

Like any party, there are those moments where the host is busy restocking supplies or making sure everything is in order.

Home-brewed beer to be sampled at Swine ‘N’ Dine

PAXTON — Those who attend next month’s sixth annual Paxton Swine ‘N’ Dine BBQ Contest & Festival will have a chance to taste some home-brewed beer.

The city council last Tuesday gave its blessing to Ross Sorensen and Clayton and Dallas Glazik to seek a one-day, special event, home-brew sampling license for the event to be held on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Hymn Festival set for Aug. 20 in Gibson City

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson Area Music Foundation (GAMF) will host its annual Hymn Festival at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at the United Methodist Church of Gibson City.

The event is free and open to people of all ages. The audience is invited to sing along on most hymns, with music provided in hymnals and lyrics projected on a large screen.

Relay for Life brings cancer survivors together


GIBSON CITY — For Phyllis Perkinson, cancer runs deep through family and friends.

“I was hanging out with six girls, and five of them were diagnosed with cancer,” Perkinson said. “Cancer also runs through my family, including several close relatives.”

Cissna Park's Old Settlers Reunion set for Aug. 17-19

CISSNA PARK — Cissna Park’s 130th annual Old Settlers Reunion — one of the longest-running observances in the state — is set for Thursday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Aug. 19, in the village park.

The event has been sponsored by American Legion Post No. 527 since 1946. Prior to that, going back to 1887, it was sponsored by a variety of community organizations.

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