List of upcoming community events (June 29, 2012)


Ford County Fair being held
MELVIN — The Ford County Fair runs through June 30 at the county fairgrounds in Melvin. This year’s fair is packed with activities for family members of all ages — from carnival rides to corn dogs to livestock shows to the demolition derby. Arm band night is Friday, as people can buy an armband for $14 for unlimited rides.  Two nights of truck and tractor pulls light up the grandstand on Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29, starting at 6 p.m. both evenings. Closing out the grandstand entertainment on Saturday, June 30, is the annual demolition derby at 6 p.m. For those looking for music, the fair has two nights of musical entertainment. Brushfire plays in the dance building from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 29. The music of The Back Paiges fills the beer tent after the demolition derby on Saturday. And the traditional dance music of Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians with Al Pierson closes out the fair on Saturday.  In addition to the carnival rides, the fair offers several events for kids. The children’s tractor pull kicks off with registration at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, with the pull starting at 6 p.m.  The Shriner Clowns will also be on the fairgrounds Thursday. Sally the Clown makes a return appearance at the fair with a magic show at 5:45 p.m. Friday, June 29.  Following the show, Sally will do her famous face-painting until 10 p.m.


Rankin celebration begins

RANKIN — Rankin’s annual Independence Day celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30. Events begin June 29 with a tractor pull starting at 6 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Persons must be age 21 or older to sit in the bleacher area in the beer tent. Also that night, there will be a concession stand serving pork sandwiches, barbecue, bratwurst, hotdogs, corndogs and french fries.  On June 30, the Bill Polson Band will perform from 1-3 p.m. Also from 1-3 p.m., children’s games will be offered. A cake walk is scheduled for 3-4 p.m., followed by a performance of the Gary Popel Band from 4-6 p.m.  Taylor Wolf will perform from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Southern Transfer will be performing in the beer tent after the fireworks. Through June 30, raffle tickets are being sold for $1 each or six for $5 for a chance to win $1,000. The drawing will be held on the night of June 30. In addition to the menu above, also served on June 30 will be a fish dinner and shrimp.


Church/school picnic set

BUCKLEY — St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Buckley will host their annual church/school picnic on Saturday, June 30, at the Buckley Lake.   Volleyball will begin at 11 a.m.  Opening at noon will be a food stand, which features homemade pie, as well as a bounce house. Other game stands for children through adults will open at noon, as well.   Bingo will be held from 2-4 p.m. Children’s games for toddlers through adults will begin at 4 p.m. Masters golf will commence at 5 p.m.  Contact Jerry Niemann if you are interested in participating in the longest drive, closest to the pin, and longest putt.  Cost is $3, with the grand prize of four rounds of golf and two carts at Lakeview Country Club at Bayles Lake. St. John’s Lutheran Church’s Vacation Bible School will present the closing program at 7 p.m., followed by a St. John’s Lutheran Church worship service. Fireworks will be at dark.   The fireworks are provided by St. John’s and the Buckley community.

Holy Spirit Night at church
PAXTON — The Vineyard Church in downtown Paxton is hosting Holy Spirit Night at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Anyone is welcome to join church members for the event, which features extended worship music and ministering prayer.   For more information, contact Jim or DeDe Wood at 379-2800.

‘The Sound of Music’ offered
HOOPESTON — The Artistic Repertory Theatre will present the musical “The Sound of Music” at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1, in the auditorium at Hoopeston Area High School. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Directed by Gail Lober of Cissna Park and choreographed by Kathleen Margevich of Hoopeston, the musical features participants from Watseka, Westville, Woodland, Rossville, Milford, Cissna Park and Hoopeston. For more information or to order tickets, call 217-283-6553. Tickets cost $10.


Kids Celebrate event slated

LODA — Loda’s largest ice cream sundae and a full-size parachute are just two of the special things that will be featured at the next Kids Celebrate event at the Loda United Methodist Church. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 1. It is open to kids entering kindergarten through seventh grade. Other activities planned for the event include a Bible lesson, story time, lunch, craft, game and a mystery destination. The culmination of the afternoon will be preparing and eating Loda’s largest sundae. To register or for more information, call the church at 386-2237. Kids may also register at the church on July 1.


Paxton’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Pells Park

PAXTON — The lineup of events is set for this year’s Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Pells Park. The annual fun run/walk, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, will begin at the south side of the park at 8 a.m. This year there will be a 100-meter “diaper dash” for children 8 or younger, an 800-meter run for children 12 or younger and a 5K run/walk for people of all ages. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the American Legion building across the street from the park. The flea market will open at 9 a.m. Car show registration runs from 9 a.m. to noon, and a community worship service begins at 9:45 a.m., with a community choir performing. There will also be an antique tractor show, children’s parade, face painting, horse-shoe tournament, kiddie tractor pull, and numerous food stands with pork burgers, hamburgers or pork-chop dinners. Other offerings include a preschool penny scramble and children’s county fair games. PBL High School cheerleaders will be on hand to assist with the games and do the face painting. A “blessing of the bikes” will kick off the bike parade, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Kids will display their bikes decorated in a USA theme. The band that will be performing during the day is The Back Paiges. The band will perform from noon to 2 p.m. on the stage of the historic pavilion at the park. The band’s repertoire of music includes songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Following the celebration, fireworks sponsored by the City of Paxton will reach the sky at 9 p.m. at Memorial Field on Paxton’s east side.

Car show accepting entries
Paxton’s 29th annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Car Show will be held Wednesday, July 4, at Pells Park in Paxton. Registration runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Judging begins at noon. An awards presentation will be at 3 p.m. The entry fee for persons to exhibit their vehicles is $10. There will be two divisions — stock and modified — with 11 classes in each. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place in each class. Other awards to be given are for Best of Division and Best of Show, as well as the Bob Johnson Memorial Trophy. For more information, call Chad Riggleman at 379-2409.

House decorating contest set
The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a house-decorating contest in celebration of the Fourth of July. Residents of Paxton who would like to enter their homes in the contest are asked to contact the chamber at 379-4655 no later than July 1. The exterior of homes will be judged after 1 p.m. July 3.  Winners of the contest will be announced July 4 during the morning announcements at the chamber’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration. Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners.

Businesses invited to exhibit
Businesses and organizations are being invited to have a table or exhibit at the celebration. To reserve a table, call 379-4655.

Fourth of July celebration set in Sibley
SIBLEY — Plans have been finalized for the annual Fourth of July Celebration in Sibley.   Activities on Wednesday, July 4, begin with a children’s catch-and-release fishing derby at 9 a.m. at the Sibley Lake.   An activity that has been added this year is a slow-pitch softball tournament, with games being played at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the championship game at 6 p.m.  The games will be played at the ballpark in downtown Sibley. An Air Life helicopter will be landing at the Old School Park at 11 a.m. (schedule and weather permitting).   Registration for the parade will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the township building in downtown Sibley.  The annual parade will begin at 1 p.m.   The band GPS will be performing for the public at the Sibley Park gazebo from noon to 1 p.m. Many free activities for children are planned.  Old-fashioned children’s games begin at the Sibley Lake at 2:30. From 4 to 7 p.m. there will be face painting, interactive inflatables and FunBelievable balloons located at the Sibley Lake Park. A popular activity from last year is the Cardboard Boat Regatta on Sibley Lake.  Registration for the boat races is from 3 to 3:30 p.m. at the lake, with the boat races beginning at 4 p.m. Directions for constructing a boat and pictures from last year’s race can be found at The evening entertainment will begin at the Sibley Lake at 6 p.m. when the parade winners and raffle prize winners are announced. Also, at that time, the 2012 royalty will be introduced.  At 6:30 p.m. the public is invited to a free concert featuring music by the band The Back Paiges.  The highlight of the day will be the fireworks over the Sibley Lake at dusk. A rain date for the fireworks will be Saturday, July 7. Throughout the day, community organizations will host food stands at the lake pavilion.


Blood drive in Paxton

PAXTON — An American Red Cross blood drive is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 5, at the Father Paul F. Dinan Parish Hall, 150 N. Maple St., Paxton. The blood drive is sponsored by the St. Mary Catholic Church Council of Catholic Women. All presenting donors receive a $5 Subway gift card. They will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an Independence Day giveaway package. For an appointment, call Gigi Jarboe at 379-2255.

‘Oklahoma!’ to be performed
CISSNA PARK — The Country Theatre Workshop north of Cissna Park will present “Oklahoma!,” one of the best-loved musicals from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, at 7:30 p.m. July 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 and at 2 p.m. July 8 and 15. Reservations may be made by calling 815-457-2626.


Tractor drive in Sibley

SIBLEY — The Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor  Drive is scheduled for Saturday, July 7.  A raffle is being held for a Farmall F-20 pedal tractor or $200 cash.  The tractor drive is held annually in honor of loved ones and cancer survivors. The event is held in conjunction with the Ford County Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. For more information, contact Russ Tjarks at 745-2377 or 249-2377.

Goat training offered in Onarga
ONARGA — FAMACHA training for sheep and goat producers will be offered Saturday, July 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the University of Illinois Extension office in Onarga, located at 912 W. Seminary Ave.   The training educates producers on parasite drug resistance, proper deworming techniques, management to decrease parasite loads on pasture, and uses of the FAMACHA eye card to identify animals that require deworming. Incorporation of FAMACHA training into a producer’s management strategy will delay the development of parasite drug resistance on the farm and allow producers to identify animals that are resistant to parasites.
Cost per person/family sharing card and handouts is $15. Checks should be made out to Rush Creek Farms.  Registration is required by July 2.  Light refreshments will be provided.   For more information, call Steve Ayers at 333-7672.


Bellflower Opry to perform

BELLFLOWER — The Bellflower Country Opry will have an all-gospel show on Sunday, July 8.  The show starts at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1 p.m.  The show will be held in the gymnasium of the Bellflower Community Center.  To reserve a seat, call 309-722-3497 or 898-7493. Tickets are $10 for adults, and children 12 and under are admitted free.


Benefit for Ms. K

GIBSON CITY — The Ms. K Benefit Dinner and Family Event will be held Saturday, July 14, at the American Legion in Gibson City. For details or to donate auction or raffle items, visit Facebook and search “Deb Kirkpatrick Benefit” or call Becky Brucker at 840-5495 or Ashleigh Hall at 979-7531.

Art show in Paxton
PAXTON — Local artists are being invited to exhibit their work at the annual Ford County Town and Country Art Show, scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. Entry forms are available at the Paxton Park District’s website, Entries are due by July 10. Those who receive blue ribbons in the various divisions and categories will be eligible to compete in the state show.

Fly-In Drive-In slated for July
PAXTON — The Paxton Airport Association is holding its third annual Fly-In/Drive-In at the Paxton Municipal Airport on Saturday, July 14, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The goal of the event is to promote the airport by introducing the public to the various aircraft and pilots in attendance. Last year, 40-plus aircraft flew in for the event, ranging from ultralights, experimental, certified factory, war birds, commercial aircraft and a Life Flight helicopter. More than 500 people attended.  Volunteers from the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 29 donate their time and aircraft to provide free flights for kids ages 8-17. Last year, 88 kids took a flight and received a free T-shirt. Paxton Airport Asso. will be giving each Young Eagle a free T-shirt again this year. The Paxton Emergency Response Service plans to again serve a biscuit-and-gravy breakfast as a fund-raiser for the ERS during the event. And like last year, the local Pheasants Forever Young Guns chapter will be serving pork burgers and chips for lunch. Sponsors are being sought to cover expenses of the event. For more information contact Rich Kingery at 202-1261.

Author of ‘Cornjerkers’ to present program at library
HOOPESTON — Former Hoopeston resident Dave Theobald, author of “Cornjerkers,” the saga of Hoopeston’s class of 1968, will speak about his book at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Hoopeston Public Library. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during the program. For more information, call the library at 283-6711.


Third Sunday Market

BLOOMINGTON — The Third Sunday Market, featuring 450 vendors selling antiques, collectibles, crafts and garden supplies, among other items, is held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. Admission costs $6 for person over age 13 and is free for persons under 13. The next dates for the market are July 15, Aug. 19, Sept. 16 and Oct. 21.

Moving car show making stops in area
PAXTON — A moving car show, of sorts, will be making stops in five area towns Sunday, July 15, to help raise funds for the family of Donnie Spenard of Fisher, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer. The car show leaves Rantoul at noon and makes a stop at the Ford County Courthouse in Paxton at 12:15 p.m., followed by stops at the village lake in Buckley at 1 p.m., downtown Roberts at 1:45 p.m., downtown Melvin at 2:30 p.m. and downtown Gibson City at 3:15 p.m. The last stop will be at Papa Burley’s in Fisher, where food, a 50/50 drawing and raffles will be offered. During each stop, people are being asked to provide donations when voting for the car they like best.

Biking event set in Channahon
CHANNAHON — Friends and family of Emily Young of rural Saybrook will be traveling to Channahon on Sunday, July 22, to participate in a bike event called Ride Ataxia.   The event, sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, is a fundraising effort for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA). Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a rare, progressive, neuromuscular disease affecting an estimated 5,000 people in the U.S. FA affects coordination and balance and eventually leads to life-altering loss of mobility, speech dysfunction and hearing loss.  Emily Young, daughter of Rick and Becky Young of rural Saybrook, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia four years ago. Emily is 16 years old and will be a junior this fall at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School.  Her progression of FA is typical.    The bike event will begin at 8 a.m. at Central Park in Channahon.  Registration for the ride can be done the morning of the ride at the park or online at   There will be 4-, 12-, 32- and 52-mile routes for the bike ride. There will be rest stops along the routes and also bike support/maintenance. Outback Steakhouse will be hosting a meal after the ride for everyone who participates.  This is the first Ride Ataxia event to be held in the Midwest. Other Ride Ataxia events in 2012 will be held in Orlando, Dallas, Portland, Philadelphia and northern California.  Donations to the Freidreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance can be made at or mailed to: FARA, 533 W. Uwchlan Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.

McCoy reunion to be held
DIETERICH — The descendants of William Creighton and Nancy (Ward) McCoy will hold a reunion Sunday, July 15, at the Kluthe Civic Center in Dieterich with a basket dinner at noon. Fried chicken, ham, dinnerware and drinks will be furnished. A fund-raising auction, including items of crafts, garden produce, keepsakes and miscellaneous items will be held in the afternoon. Family and friends are welcome to attend and are asked to bring any vital statistical information since the last reunion.


Quilters to meet in Mahomet
MAHOMET — Members of the Piece Makers Quilt Club are taking a trip to A Quilting Bee quilt shop in Mahomet for their July meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 16. Anyone who wants to carpool is asked to meet at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Paxton at 5:30 p.m.   For more information, call Rose Birkey at 897-1904.


Benefit for Spenard set in Fisher
FISHER — A benefit to raise funds for the family of Donny Spenard of Fisher, who has Stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer, is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at the Civic Center in Fisher. The benefit will include an auction, raffles and food. Donations of items are being sought for the auction, and anyone interested in donating is asked to call Dale Puls at 217-419-1659 or 217-379-2388.

Church holding rummage sale
PAXTON — The St. Mary Catholic Church’s Council of Catholic Women is holding a rummage sale from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, July 27, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at the parish hall located at 150 N. Maple St. in Paxton.  Gently used clothes, small appliances, home decor and miscellaneous items will be offered.


Hymn Festival in G.C.

GIBSON CITY — The fourth annual Hymn Festival will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Gibson City United Methodist Church. Cindy Massanari Breeze, retired Champaign pastor, will again lead all those attending in the hymn singing. Bill Ogg will provide accompaniment on the church’s pipe organ.
The Gibson Area Music Foundation’s also will sponsor a performance of Handel’s Messiah, which is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at the Gibson City Bible Church.


Loda book club to meet
LODA — The next meeting of the Loda Township Library’s book club is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the library. The book to be discussed at the meeting is “Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom. For more information, call the library 386-2743.

PBL High School to host Ag Day Camp
PAXTON — Discover Ag Day Camp is scheduled for Aug. 8-10 at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School. The camp is open to children entering third and fourth grades next fall. Space is limited to the first 25 students who enroll. The cost is $15. The camp meets from 8 a.m. to noon each day at PBL High School. Topics to be covered include small animals, pigs, corn, farm safety and horticulture. The camp also includes a field trip.


Paxton High School class of ‘62 to reunite
PAXTON — Plans are being made for the 50-year reunion celebration for the graduating class of 1962 from Paxton High School. The event will be held Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, in Paxton. A reservation has been made for the evening on Sept. 22 at the Tin Pan restaurant in downtown Paxton. Class members who have contact information or need more details are asked to contact Jo Ellen (Karr) Campbell at 865-408-0051 or


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