List of upcoming community events (Nov. 14, 2012)


Gibson Chamber to host Christmas Parade

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s 18th annual Lighted Christmas Parade is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in downtown Gibson City. The theme is “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” Parade entry forms are available at Leonard’s Performance Center, Front and Center Gallery Florist and the Moyer District Library, all in Gibson City. Vendors and concession stand operators are being sought for the parade, and anyone interested is asked to call Sharon at the Moyer District Library at 784-5343. WGCY-Radio plans to broadcast the parade live.

PRIDE to conduct Christmas Parade
PAXTON — PRIDE in Paxton’s annual Christmas Parade will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Taft and Orleans streets in downtown Paxton on Saturday, Nov. 24. Entries will include characters, floats, walking groups, antique cars and the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School mini band.The parade’s theme is “Downhome Country Christmas.” The parade will be featuring Old MacDonald and his barnyard friends, and the mini band will be playing “Old MacDonald had a Farm.” PRIDE is inviting businesses, marching units, bands, Christian and civic units, floats, antique vehicles, new cars, farm machinery, individuals and families to enter and participate in the parade. Anyone interested is asked to call Teri Hancock or Rhonda Blackford at 379-4245. Judges will choose the best entries in the categories of religious, business and/or civic, and family. Each year, PRIDE in Paxton’s Parade Committee picks a group/organization or good-will gesture to promote in the parade. This year, the parade will be promoting the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton, which is seeking to purchase a marquis for the front of the building. Cans for donations will be placed at various businesses. PRIDE’s Christmas Parade Committee is made up of Teri Hancock, Rhonda Blackford, Mary Jarboe, Julie Elliott, Greg Herriott, Neal McHenry, Mike Griffin, Stan Fredrickson, Marcus Hancock, Katie Blackford and Denise Koonce.


Ventriloquist to perform

ONARGA — Nationally known ventriloquist David Pendleton will perform at the Onarga Theater on Saturday, Nov. 17.  The Cissna Park art advocacy group Art UpClose is presenting the event.  A matinee performance will be at 4 p.m, followed by a performance at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by emailing or calling 815-457-3070. Pendleton, a 20-year veteran entertainer, is one of the nation’s premiere ventriloquists. He brings to his show a wide rage of comedic characters including lovable but blunt Aunt Tilly, a 94-year-old spinster; quick-witted trouble-maker Mack Elroy with his laid-back sidekick Buford, the beagle; and Vern, a slightly misguided albino vulture.  Additional information on Pendleton is available at

Rantoul theatre hosting Santa Claus-themed play
RANTOUL — The Rantoul Theatre Group will present the play, “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” which resumes this weekend at Grissom Hall Theatre on the former Chanute Air Force Base. The play will run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. The play by Pat Cook is based on the famous editorial written by Frances Church to an 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who seeks the the answer to “Is there really a Santa Claus?” Her friends have told her there is no Santa Claus, but her papa told her if you see it in the New York Sun, then it is so. The play cast includes Sam Schieber (Chief), Kevin Renfro (Papa O’Hanlon), Karen Hughes (Mama O’Hanlon), Tuscany Vandegriff (Virginia), Ryan Summers, (Frank Church), Chris Wallace (Mrs. Marbury), Morgan Wagner (Missy), McKenna Sprandel (Charly), Sue Sawyer (Mrs. Madison), Jace Jamison (Lige), Blake Quinlan (Father Michael) and Cynthis McEntire (Mrs. Birch). Rantoul Theatre Group is offering a $2 discount off the ticket price for bringing in a toy for the St. Jude Hospital (headed up by Brendon Remington). Reservations can be made by calling 892-1121 or going online at


Rehab Center to host fall bazaar

PIPER CITY — Piper City Rehab & Living Center and Courtyard Estates of Piper City is hosting its Annual Fall Bazaar from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 17. There will be several Homemade Baked Goods and Handmade Crafts for sale. Raffle tickets are available First prize is a handmade Chicago Bears Afghan, seconnd Prize is a panoramic view of th New York Skyline, third prize is a gift basket. All proceeds go toward the Piper City Rehab residents’ Christmas Gifts.

Santa to take pictures with dogs
PAXTON — Dogs can have their photos taken with Santa while helping raise funds for a proposed dog park in Paxton during an upcoming fundraiser sponsored by the Paxton Dog Park Committee. The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Designer Dog Salon, 110 S. Market St., Paxton. Donations will be requested for photos taken. Free milkbones will be given away. Premium Christmas dog goodie boxes available for a donation, as well. Those interested in more information can call 379-3183 or 781-0232, email or visit


Rural church to host Pancake and Sausage Supper

ELLIOTT — The Pontoppidan Lutheran Church of rural Elliott will host its 44th annual Pancake and Sausage Supper from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. The women of the church will sponsor a bake sale at the supper. There will also be a drawing for a quilt, a Christmas centerpiece and a painting. The church is located at 186 North 1100 East Road.

Church to host chicken dinner
THOMASBORO — Peace Lutheran Church of Thomasboro will sponsor its annual fried chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Thomasboro Community Building, located at 600 Commercial Street in Thomasboro. Carryout orders are available. The menu includes fried chicken, au gratin potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, rolls, homemade desserts and drinks. Children ages or under eat for free. Donations will be accepted for people of other ages.

Local church to offer Thanksgiving meal
PAXTON — The Paxton Church of Christ will offer a free Thanksgiving meal at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, at the church. Anyone interested in attending is asked to reserve a seat by calling Mary Nimon at 379-4208 no later than Friday, Nov. 16. Transportation to and from the church may be provided upon request.

Local church to hold blood drive
PAXTON — The Paxton Church of Christ will hold an American Red Cross blood drive from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the church’s fellowship hall, located at 400 West Ottawa Road. Persons who have not donated blood since Oct. 4 may be eliglible to donate at the blood drive. Donors are asked to bring their Red Cross donor card or a photo ID. For an appointment, call Mary Werner at 379-2261.

Bake sale to take place in Champaign
CHAMPAIGN — St. Peter’s UCC Annual Cookie, Craft and Vendor Sale is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The event will take place at 905 South Russell Street in Champaign. Vender space and/or more information can be obtained by calling 356-3635.

Ford Historical Society to host Civil War event

PAXTON — The Flora family of Champaign in their authentic Civil War uniforms will be recounting facts about the 259,000 soldiers from Illinois who served in that war during the Ford Historical Society’s next meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the American Legion building, 763 E. Pells St., Paxton. The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 379-3723 or 379-4111.

Iroquois County 4-H to host callout
GILMAN — Ford County 4-H will be hosting a fall callout for any new potential members interested in joining the 4-H program from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Office in Gilman. There will be an additional callout from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Watseka Public Library in Watseka. Potential members and parents will have the opportunity to meet current 4-H members and leaders to talk about their experiences in the program. According to Ford and Iroquois Counties 4-H Program Coordinator Michelle Fluty, “With the new 4-H year starting in the fall, it is a great time for new members to join a club and get the full experience of what 4-H has to offer.”

Quilt club to meet
PAXTON — The next meeting of the Piece Makers Quilt Club will be Monday, Nov. 19, at  the Evangelical Covenant Church in Paxton. At 3 p.m., anyone who is  interested can come to the church basement to make thread catchers.  Those who  do not have a supply list can contact Sue Chandler at 394-2569 or Carol  Hutchcraft at 784-5656. Guests are also encouraged to bring a sack lunch. The regular monthly meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Republican Women to hold meeting in Civic Center
PAXTON — The first annual meeting of the newly formed Ford County Republican Women’s club will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at the Paxton Civic Center, located at 601 South Fall Street. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be the featured speaker. The Nominating Committee will present a slate of candidates for the office of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  An election will be held and the new officers will serve a term of 2013-2014. Bylaws will also be approved at this meeting. Dues will be paid in the amount of $20 for the year 2013.  This amount enrolls us in the National Federation and the Illinois Federation and allows us to retain $5 for our treasury.Republican women from the area are invited to join. Men are also welcome and may join as an Associate Member. Others from the area who would like to attend to hear Treasurer Rutherford speak are also welcome to attend.

Author to speak to Iroquois County Tea Party
CRESCENT CITY — Author Michale Callahan, who wrote the book “Since When is Murder Too Politically Sensitive,” is the featured speaker for the Iroquois County Tea Party’s next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Crescent City Community Center. In 2000, Callahan was the newly promoted investigations commander for a nine-county area in East Central Illinois. His first assignment, to review the 14-year-old murder of a young, newlywed couple, Dyke and Karen Rhoads, would change his life forever, shattering his faith in the department he had loved and had dedicated his life to. Rumblings from the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University and an impending show on CBS’s “48 Hours” were that two men had been wrongfully convicted for these murders.

Parenting program to meet at Farm Bureau
GILMAN — The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau, located at 1381 South Crescent, will hold a meeting for the program “Ghosts in the Nursery” starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. “Ghosts in the Nursery” is a free presentation for parents, educators and day-care providers. It focuses on what parents bring to parenting, how they may form attachments to their infants, and how their upbringings impact the upbringings of their children. “Ghosts in the Nursery” is presented by Lauren Wiley, M.Ed., who holds a master’s degree and certificates in infant mental health from the Erikson Institute and is a certified teacher in Early Childhood Education. Check-in time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., during which a free meal will be offered. Wiley’s presentation will take place from 6-8 p.m. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by Nov. 23. They can do so, or receive more information, by calling the Child Care Resource Service at (800) 325-5516 or (217) 333-1956.


Paxton to hold Christmas Tree Lighting

PAXTON — Paxton’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, by the tree at the intersection of State and Market streets downtown. During the event, the tree will be lit for the holidays, and holiday music will be provided. The crowning of the Paxton Park District’s Christmas prince and princess will also be conducted. Essay contest winners will also be announced, as well as winners of a coloring contest sponsored by the Paxton IGA. The Golden Star Award will be presented, as well. The Vineyard Church will be serving hot cocoa and cookies during storytime following the lighting of the tree. Children attending will be given the chance to win a Christmas story book donated by the Paxton Carnegie Library.

PRIDE to host firehouse cookoff
PAXTON — PRIDE in Paxton’s annual Firehouse Cookoff Contest will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the firehouse on North Market Street. People can submit their favorite recipes to be judged by Paxton’s volunteer firefighters during the event. This year’s theme is “Your Favorite Country Home Cooking Dish or Dessert.” Judging begins at 6 p.m., and all entries should be at the firehouse by 5:45 p.m. Entries should be provided in disposable containers. For more information, call Rhonda Blackford at 379-4245.

Holiday bazaar set for Dec. 1
PAXTON — The Illinois Knights Templar Home’s annual  Holiday Bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. A barbecue lunch will be served.

Lake Iroquois to host Christmas Expo
LAKE IROQUOIS — The Lake Iroquois Christmas Expo, featuring multiple vendors selling crafts, jewelry and Christmas gifts, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Lake Iroquois clubhouse, 140 Shawnee Lane.

Loda Lions to sponsor Wonderland Dance
LODA — The Loda Lions Club will offer its first Winter Wonderland Dinner Dance from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Loda American Legion Hall. Tickets include drinks and cuisine. The menu consists of lasagna, Italian salad, cakes and Christmas treats, beer, soda, water and apple cider and sweets during the dance lineup. Providing musical entertainment will be the Slammer Jazz Trio from Indianapolis, which specializes in Big Band-era sound, easy jazz, and soft 1950s and ‘60s rock and Christmas music.  During the dance, there will be six raffles for a decorated, lighted, all-white  Christmas tree and stuffed snowman decorations.Tickets can be purchased from any Loda Lions Club member or at the admission door. Proceeds will be put into the club’s building renovation fund.

PRIDE to host firehouse cookoff
PAXTON — PRIDE in Paxton’s annual Firehouse Cookoff Contest will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the firehouse on North Market Street. People can submit their favorite recipes to be judged by Paxton’s volunteer firefighters during the event. This year’s theme is “Your Favorite Country Home Cooking Dish or Dessert.” Judging begins at 6 p.m., and all entries should be at the firehouse by 5:45 p.m. Entries should be provided in disposable containers. For more information, call Rhonda Blackford at 379-4245.


Gibson Area Hospital to sponsor open house

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary is sponsoring a special informational event at the Paxton Clinic on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be given away. Gift certificates will also be available for all new members. Reservations are encouraged but not required. Those interested in registering can contact Nancy Krumwiede at 379-3074 or

CPR class offered by Public Health Department
WATSEKA — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department will host a CPR class from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the FIPHD building, located at 114 North Third Street. Registration for the class or further information can be obtained by contacting Dee Ann Schippert, Jeanne Snyder or Deb Longest at (815) 432-2483.


ERS to hold food drive

PAXTON — The Paxton Emergency Response Service is holding a food drive Saturday, Nov. 17, to benefit families in need in the Paxton, Buckley and Loda areas. Residents are asked to leave nonperishable food items in a bag by their front door of their homes. ERS volunteers will pick up the food items starting at 10 a.m. Nov. 17. The food will be donated to the Hands of Christ Food Pantry in Paxton. More information can be obtained by calling Dale Puls at 379-2388.

Food bank to distribute food to low-income families
PAXTON — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributing a truckload of food to low-income families from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, 619 S. Railroad Ave., Paxton. Ford County residents who meet income-eligibility criteria can receive food. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The maximum monthly income per eligible household is $1,722 for a household of one; $2,333 for a household of two; $2,943 for a household of three; and $3,554 for a household of four.

Action Agency to conduct Power Blitz
PAXTON — The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency will conduct a Power Blitz on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. The Power Blitz will serve eligible households that meet income guidelines. Payment assistance willbe processed at the Power Blitz for qualified households on a first-come, first-served basis from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Customers must bring the following: proof of income for all household members for the past 30 days; a copy of the most recent gas and electric bills; Social Security cards for all household members; proof of SNAP benefits if received by the household; and rent receipts, if applicable.
More information can be obtained by calling Sue Rieches at 379-2071.


Museum open for winter

PAXTON — Starting in November, the Ford County Historical Society’s water tower museum will be open on the fourth Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. The next dates the museum will be open are Nov. 25 and Dec. 23. Beginning in April, the museum will be open each Sunday, from 2-4 p.m. The museum, which is located behind City Hall in Paxton, is also open by appointment. More information can be obtained by calling 379-3723, 379-4111 or 379-3212.


Country Opry to hold  November show

BELLFLOWER — The Bellflower Country Opry will host its annual November Opry show Saturday, Nov. 24.  It will feature regular band members that night, along with special guests Missy Vail, Chrissy Rigsby on keys, and Mike Brake on drums. The doors will open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. All of the shows are held in the gymnasium of the Bellflower Community Center, located at 202 Center Street. Reserved seats and more information can be obtained by calling 309-722-3497 or 898-7493.

Country Music Association to hold Christmas show
MCLEAN — The Illinois Country Music Association is hosting an all new fast-paced Country Christmas Spectacular show at the Mt. Hope Community Hall on the square in McLean Saturday, Nov. 24. A meal will be served starting at 5 p.m. with country music performed during the meal by the ICMA entertainers, and the Christmas Spectacular starts at 6:30 p.m.

Back Paiges to perform
MELVIN — The Back Paiges will perform in the Melvin Community Hall at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. There will be a guest appearance by Don Burns.Pork chop sandwiches, chips, homemade pies, desserts and drinks will be sold by the Melvin Fire Department during the show. The building is at 108 E. Main St. For details, call 388-2853.   


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