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. Exact dates for the meeting, rehearsals and performance will be published when finalized. Persons interested in participating are asked to contact Allen Grussing at 309-722-5004 or so that the music can be ordered.

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. For more information, call the chamber office at 217-379-4655, visit or visit The Market on Market Facebook page.

Saybrook’s farmers’ market is held on the second Saturday of each month from 8 to 11 a.m.  at the EDGE building, located at the corner of Harrison and Main streets in Saybrook. Local produce, baked goods and a wide variety of crafts are on display and available for purchase. All items are homemade/homegrown.

The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The  museum, located at 135 S. Market St. just behind Paxton City Hall, specializes in Ford County history. For information or to schedule special tours, call 217-379-3723 or 217-379-4111.

Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, is inviting members of the public to join the group for its meetings held every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library.

The Revolution Youth Group at Hope Vineyard Church in Paxton will launch for the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The youth group is free and open to students in sixth through 12th grades. Its goals are to provide a place to experience fun, God and belonging for students at all levels of faith.

The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s next monthly meeting will be at noon Thursday, Sept. 7, at The Sand Trap in Gibson City. The guest speakers will be Miranda Leonard, the head cheerleading coach at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School, and Mike Allen, the school’s head football coach and athletic director. Persons planning to attend are asked to contact Jackie Rusk at or 217-784-2249 by noon Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Women from the Melvin area are invited to join the Melvin Woman’s Club, which will hold its first meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Melvin Community Hall. The featured speaker will be Tammy Kendrick. She will be speaking about “Gotcha Covered,” a school project at Heritage Prep Academy.

The Tri-County Players, in cooperation with Playscripts Inc., will present “Bedtime Stories (As Told by Our Dad [who messed them up]),” a comedy by Ed Monk, on the weekend of Sept. 8-10 at the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton.
The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8; 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.
Walk-ins are welcome. Reservations can be made by calling the theater at 379-7028 and leaving a message. Tickets cost $7.
In the play, it’s Dad’s turn to tell his three rambunctious kids their bedtime stories, but when he gets fuzzy on the details, the classics get creative. A prince with a snoring problem spices up “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” cries dinosaur instead, and “Rumpelstiltskin” helps turn all that pesky gold into straw. You may think you know your fairy tales, but not the way Dad tells them.
With the exception of Dad, the show features children as its cast members. Dad is played by Marcus Slavenas. He is the father of three young children — Wally (portrayed by Henry Cranston), Ashley (Paitlyn Badgley) and Katie (Iris Latimar). Tammy Belanger directs the production.
Appearing in “The Princess and the Pea” story are Maggie Neff as the worn-out queen, Audrey McCoy and Lauren Krumwiede as the two wacky princesses, Grace McCoy as Mindy the maid, Keegan Medlock as the prince and Kendyl Badgley as the prime minister.
Characters in “The Girl Who Cried Dinosaur” are Willow, the nervous shepherd (Ally Wright), the very wordy mayor (Lauren Krumwiede), Honora the dinosaur (Kendyl Badgley), Willow’s mom (Josephine Royer), Willow’s dad (Alex Swanson), the captain (Jaden Whitner), the sheep (Grace McCoy, Audrey McCoy and McKenzie Whitner), and the militia (Keegan Medlock, Elizabeth Megson and Maggie Neff).
The last fractured fairytale is “Rumpelstiltskin.” Rumpelstiltskin is played by Elizabeth Megson, while Alex Swanson is the prince, Ally Wright is the poor old woman and Josephine Royer is the daughter.

The annual Gibson City Harvest Fest will be held Friday, Sept. 8, and Saturday, Sept. 9, in downtown Gibson City, with activities starting at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Activities for adults include wine tasting, food and craft vendors, a beer garden, bags tournament, beer stein-holding competition and sledge hammer contest. Activities for children include inflatable rides, a scarecrow costume contest, kiddie tractor pull, touch-a-truck, hayrack rides and face painting. Live entertainment will be provided by Too White Crew, Heartless, Seasonal Disorder, Jawbone Stew, Nashville Company, The Brat Pack, The Other Guys, and Jordan and Jill. For more information, visit

The 12th annual Barn Keepers Barn Tour will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, featuring barns in Hudson Township in McLean County.
Sixteen sites will be featured in the self-guided tour, including barns, the Hudson Public Library, the Hudson Cemetery and other places of interest.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration being from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. at the Hudson United Methodist Church, 212 E. Franklin St., Hudson.  The Barn Tour History Booklet and map can be purchased at registration. Barn information and census maps will be available, as well as the opportunity to talk with a barn restoration contractor. The church will have coffee and donuts available in the morning as well as a light lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Most of the featured barns can be viewed on the interior.  Someone will be stationed at each barn to answer questions. Parking is available near all the barns.
Admission costs $20 per carload and $15 for Barn Keepers members. Extra books will be available for $5.
Barn Keepers promotes the restoration, preservation and repurposing of barns. Additional information is available at, on Facebook or by calling 309-475-6951. 

Marvin Lee, a longtime country music pioneer, will present a country music show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St., Melvin. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults; there is no charge for children age 12 and under. The Melvin Lutheran Church will serve pulled pork barbecue, chips, homemade pies and drinks. For more information, call 217-388-2853.

The Paxton IGA is hosting cookouts in its parking lot to help raise funds for nonprofit organizations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday. The next one, set for Sept. 9, will raise funds for Paxton Healthcare & Rehab. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The 17th annual Intertribal Pow-Wow at the Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park will be held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.
The Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park is located just north of LeRoy at 8144 N. 3100 East Road, Arrowsmith.
Activities include dancing, food, native crafts and jewelry, a corn maze, children’s  activities and a chance to visit the bison herd.
The entry fee is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and kids ages 6-12. There is no charge for children under age 6.
For more information, email or call/text Bill at 309-846-6720.

St. Peter Lutheran Church in Melvin will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its present location with a special worship service at 9:30 a.m., followed by lunch, on Sunday, Sept. 10. On Sept. 10, 1967, the congregation marched from the old church building to their current location. The congregation has been in existence for 145 years.

The I&I Firefighters Association’s annual 9/11 Memorial Ride will be held Sunday, Sept. 10, with the procession of motorcycles expected to make a lunch stop in Paxton around 12:15 p.m.
“We use this event as a time to remember the events of 9/11, spend the day riding through many of the districts in the I&I Firefighters Association and also as a fundraiser to help emergency personnel in the I&I Firefighters Association who may need assistance through out the year,” said Dan Hudson, president of the I&I Firefighters Association.
Bikers will leave McDonald’s in Danville at 10 a.m. and enter Indiana around 10:30 a.m. They will then enter Rossville around 11:30 a.m. before entering Hoopeston (11:51 a.m.), Rankin (12:03 p.m.) and Paxton (12:15 p.m.).
The bikers will enter Paxton  on Illinois 9 before stopping for one hour at the firehouse on North Market Street for lunch. They will leave Paxton around 1:17 p.m., heading south on U.S. 45 to Ludlow.
The motorcyclists will then pass through Rantoul (1:29 p.m.), Gifford (1:40 p.m.), Penfield (1:45 p.m.), Armstrong (1:51 p.m.), Potomac (1:55 p.m.), Collison (2:03 p.m.), Oakwood (2:14 p.m.), Muncie (2:23 p.m.), Fithian (2:25 p.m.), Ogden (2:30 p.m.), Homer (2:36 p.m.), Allerton (3:01 p.m.), Sidell (3:08 p.m.), Indianola (3:15 p.m.), Georgetown (3:24 p.m.), Westville (3:30 p.m.), Catlin (3:38 p.m.) and Tilton (3:43 p.m.).
The ride will conclude at 4 p.m. when bikers arrive at the Friendly Tavern in Danville.
For more information, contact Hudson at 217-474-5177.

The Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton will host an ice cream social from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. The event will feature tours of the facility from 10 to 11 a.m.; open interviews from 11 a.m. to noon; a hamburger/hot dog lunch (for $5) from noon to 1:30 p.m.; a church service from 1:30 to 2 p.m.; entertainment by Yesterday’s Country from 2 to 3 p.m.; and the serving of ice cream from 2 to 3 p.m. A bounce house for the kids will be available, as well. Also, from noon to 3 p.m., there will be
 a vendor fair featuring LuLaRoe, Scentsy, Origami Owl, Clothes Pin Puppets, 31, Pink Zebra, Tupperware, homemade treats and resident crafts. The nursing home is located at 450 E. Fulton St. in Paxton. For more information, call 217-379-2116.

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host a splatterboard shoot on Sunday, Sept. 10. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m., and the shoot starts at 8 a.m. An Annie Shoot will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served around noon. The Deland Masons will have a trap shoot after the Annie Shoot is finished. The shoots are open to the public.

Pillar and Ground Independent Baptist Church, a new church in Gibson City, will have its grand opening service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.
The church is located at the corner of 12th Street and Lawrence Street/Illinois 54. The service will feature familiar hymns and straight Bible preaching that made America great. There will be a candy drop and dessert served after the service. For more information, visit

The public is being invited to join the Ford County Republican Women in honoring the local fireman, police, first responders and Emergency Response Service personnel for the 16th anniversary of 9/11 and Patriot Day. 
The event will be held at the Paxton firehouse on North Market Street at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11.
Special guest speakers include state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, and Steve Wilder. 
For additional information, contact Kathy Ebert at 815-471-4277 or Kim Evans at 217-379-9421.

The next free movie to be shown at the Melvin Community Hall will be on Friday, Sept. 15.

A euchre party sponsored by Chic’s Ford County Relay for Life team is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. There is a $10 entry fee. Snacks and water will be provided. To sign up in advance, call 217-784-5267 and leave a message with your name and telephone number.

The Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) will be meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. on the third Friday of each month starting Friday, Sept. 15, at the Church of the Nazarene, 302 W. State St., Paxton.
The group will meet through May 18.
During each meeting, breakfast will be provided, and there will be crafts and discussions.
MOPS is a grassroots movement that believes moms are world influencers. Moms meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood. A MOPS group is an open, accepting place for all mothers to experience authentic community, personal growth, practical help and spiritual hope. Childcare is available for MOPS members’ children.
Every year, MOPS comes up with a rallying cry — a concept that will guide members for the year. This year, the group is digging deeper into the idea of being truly free — free from worry, free from feeling stuck, free from hustling to be loved, free from a heaviness they can’t put their finger on, free from thinking they should be someone other than exactly who you are.
For more information, contact Julie Foster at 618-304-4092.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place Saturday, Sept. 16, at Perry Farm Park in Bourbonnais. Nearly 600 people from Kankakee and Iroquois counties are expected at this year’s event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Walk participants will complete a 2.45-mile walk and will learn about Alzheimer’s disease, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment and support programs and services from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Participants will also join in a ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
People can register today. They can sign up as a team captain, join a team or register to walk as an individual at

The Bellflower Country Opry’s next country music show — scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Bellflower Community Center — will feature special guest performer Chrissy Sparks. Prior to the show, starting at 5 p.m., barbecue sandwiches with sides, dessert and a drink will be served for $6. To reserve a seat or for more information, call 217-898-7493 or 309-722-3497.

The sixth annual Paxton Swine ‘N’ Dine BBQ Contest & Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 16, in downtown Paxton.
The Swine ‘N’ Dine started six years ago as a friendly barbecue competition in a Paxton backyard. Over the years, it has expanded into a downtown street festival featuring not only a barbecue cookoff but also food, a car show, kids’ activities, a bags tournament, live bands performing, local craft beer tasting and more.

Touch-A-Truck, an annual event sponsored by the Gibson City Rotary Club will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Middle School. The family event features cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, farm equipment, race cars and more. Many vehicles will allow children to be on or in them and see them work. Admission is free. Food vendors will be selling food and homemade ice cream. There will also be safety information provided and giveaways for the kids.

Retired and semi-retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest speaker will be Jeremy Darnell, superintendent of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district.

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, veterans from Illinois will begin a 500-mile journey from Cairo, Ill, to the western Chicago suburb of St. Charles. The purpose of this event — called the Gold Star Mission — is to preserve the legacy and honor the 34 service members of the Illinois Army and Air National Guard who made the ultimate sacrifice in support of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thirty-four cyclists will set out to ride the 500 miles in four days in order to raise funds and provide 34 academic scholarships in honor of the fallen heroes. For more information or to get involved, visit

The Ford County Historical Society will hold its annual dinner  at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the banquet room of the Arcade Cafe in Paxton. The speaker will be Tom Emery of Carlinville, who will talk about “Abraham Lincoln and his family.” For dinner reservations at $13 per person, call 217-379-4111 by Sept.18.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s homecoming parade will be held on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 28, followed by the recognition of PBL Alumni Hall of Fame inductees at Zimmerman Field.

The Vermillion Valley Show Chorus will appear at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at The Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center in Pontiac.
The show is entitled “Jammin’ Jubilee.” Gospel favorites featured include “Gonna Build a Mountain,” “Get Happy” and “Ride the Chariot.”
The chorus, under the direction of Kathy Filipiak of Flanagan, will also perform some different types of songs, some of which have been performed in competition, earning the chorus first place in its division at the regional level.
New assistant chorus director Tori Adams of Kankakee will direct the chorus in a well-known song from the musical “Jekyll and Hyde.”
Two quartets will also perform. The “Four to Go” quartet features tenor Rhonda Hornstein of Gibson City; lead Janet Brady of Dwight; baritone Debbie Lopez of Normal, formerly of Flanagan; and Bass Beth Russell of Fairbury. The “Flip Side” quartet includes tenor Debbie Lowman of Pekin; lead Kathy Filipiak of Flanagan; baritone Ginger Stubbs of Dunlap; and bass Charity Monroe of Peoria.       
Tickets  cost $15 and are available from any member of the chorus or by contacting Gina Maede at 309-747-2679 or or Rhonda Hornstein at 217-722-6095.
The Vermillion Valley Show Chorus has been singing four-part harmony in the barbershop style for more than 30 years with members traveling to Thursday night rehearsals at Futures Unlimited in Pontiac from many communities, including Kankakee, Oglesby, Dwight, Peoria, Pekin, Chatsworth, Flanagan, Clifton, Gibson City, Cornell, Fairbury, Chenoa, Peru, Tremont, Bradley, Dunlap, Marseilles and even Sterling.  
Anyone of any age can attend a rehearsal any Thursday at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Gina Maede at 309-747-2679.

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host a splatterboard shoot on Sunday, Oct. 8. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m., and the shoot starts at 8 a.m. An Annie Shoot will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served around noon. The shoots are open to the public.

New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Gibson City is giving away five free weddings on Saturday, Oct. 14. Five times are available. The deadline to apply is Sept. 16. For more information, contact the church office via email at or call 217-784-8673.

Gibson City Fright Night is set for Monday, Oct. 23, in Gibson City.

Members of the Ford-Iroquois Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Milford Family Restaurant. The group will have lunch and hear a program on senior law by attorney Ted Spenn. No reservations are needed, and all retired teachers are invited.

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host a splatterboard shoot on Sunday, Nov. 12. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m., and the shoot starts at 8 a.m. An Annie Shoot will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served around noon. The shoots are open to the public.

The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lighted Holiday Parade is set for Saturday, Nov. 18, in Gibson City.

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host a splatterboard shoot on Sunday, Dec. 10. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m., and the shoot starts at 8 a.m. An Annie Shoot will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served around noon. The shoots are open to the public.


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