List of upcoming community events (Sept. 20, 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.

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.

Forrest’s townwide garage sales are set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 23. Maps of the sales will be available at Casey’s General Store and the post office in Forrest. The sales are sponsored by the Forrest American Legion Auxiliary post.

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. 23, will raise funds for Missions R Us. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will host a breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at the ERS building at 134 W. State St. in downtown Paxton. All-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage will be served for a $7 donation, with kids ages 6 to 12 eating for $4. Kids under age 6 eat for free. There will also be biscuits and gravy available, with a full order costing $5 and a half order costing $4. The breakfast raises funds for ERS projects.

The Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary will sponsor an American Red Cross blood drive from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the First Presbyterian Church, 401 N. Church St., Gibson City.
Persons donating blood are asked to bring their blood donor card or a photo identification.
Appointments are encouraged, because the Red Cross sends staff to take care of the donors in a timely manner based on the number of appointments. Donors who are not on the regular calling list are asked to call Sharon Heavilin at 217-249-8103 or make an appointment at by Wednesday, Sept. 20.
RapidPass is a new tool that allows blood donors to complete pre-reading and health history questions online. By using RapidPass, donors can reduce the time they spend at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes. They can learn more by visiting There are also directions at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City.
At the blood drive, donors can enter a drawing to win one of two $10 gift certificates for the GAH Gift Shop or one of two $25 Gibson Bucks gift certificates sponsored by the GAH Auxiliary. 
Donating blood typically takes about one hour. Donors must be healthy and be at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with an ARC consent form signed by their parent). There is no upper age limit. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and wait at least 56 days between donations. They are eligible to donate if they last donated on or before Aug. 1.  Donors should eat a good meal within four hours before donating.
All blood types are needed, especially types “O” and all “RH negatives.” The number of blood donations helps GAH on the cost of the blood that is purchased for patients’ needs.

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.

A potluck dinner for senior citizens in the Gibson City area is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Telecare building by the city’s South Park. Seniors attending are asked to bring their own table service and a dish to share. Fried chicken and a cold drink will be provided.

The Friends of the Dominy Library’s Fall Book Sale is set for Sept. 28-30. Available for purchase are a selection of cookbooks, kids’ books, current fiction books, mysteries, religious books, romance novels, Westerns, biographies, fantasy books, sci-fi books, Bibles, dictionaries, magazines and more. The sale will be held at the library in Fairbury from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 30. For more information, visit

Just An Angel, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children afflicted with cancer, will hold a cruise on Saturday, Sept. 30, in memory of Paxton resident Caitlynn Riblet. Registration is from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Paxton Public House bar in downtown Paxton. Motorcycles, cars, trucks and hotrods are invited to participate. The cost is $10 per person. The run leaves the bar at noon. There will be a silent auction, 50/50 drawings and raffles. For more information, call Dale and Christine Puls of Just An Angel at 217-419-1659 or 217-379-2388.

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 public is invited to join members of the Melvin Woman’s Club for a presentation by Derrick Babbs on the history of Melvin. The program will be on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Melvin United Methodist Church, 129 N. Center St.

The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad #427 will be hosting its last Taco/Taco Salad/Nacho Night of the season from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at the Saybrook American Legion post.. Spaghetti is coming back in November.

The 38th annual Harvest Daze, sponsored by the Iroquois County Historical Society, will be held Friday, Oct. 6; Saturday, Oct. 7; and Sunday, Oct. 8.
Harvest Daze takes place on the grounds of the Old Courthouse Museum, 103 W. Cherry St., Watseka. Harvest Daze will kick off with a Woodworth-style fish fry from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, with opening ceremonies slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. The grand finale of Harvest Daze has been the People’s Choice Talent Competition, which starts at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The 12th annual Harvest Daze Cruise-In, spearheaded by Jason and Diana Reed, will take place Saturday, Oct. 7. Registration goes from 9 a.m. to noon with awards presented at 3 p.m. For more information, call Reed at 815-278-0881 or send an email to
The 14th annual Harvest Daze Tractor Show will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, with David Hiles in charge. For more information on this event, call him at 815-383-4364.
The Victorian Room bake sale will take place both days in the Victorian Parlor on the main floor of the Old Courthouse Museum. Co-chairwomen of the event are Jean Hiles and Dorothy Koonce.
The scarecrow and pumpkin contests are another popular event.
Food and drinks will be available in the red barn with ham and beans offered both days — by the Iroquois County Genealogical Society on Saturday and by the Sheldon United Methodist Church on Sunday. 
There will be free entertainment under the big tent, several new and returning vendors will be set up offering their wares, face painting will be available and the ever-popular annual raffle will be conducted.
For more information on any of the Harvest Daze events, call the museum at 815-432-2215 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or send an email to

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.

The Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club will sponsor a Fall Bingo event at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Watseka Elks Lodge. Cash prizes will be awarded. All proceeds go toward the club’s donation of hats and mittens this fall to Iroquois County schools and its 2018 scholarship to be awarded to an Iroquois County high school senior.

Just An Angel, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children afflicted with cancer, will hold a Halloween car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Pells Park in Paxton. Registration for car show entries is from 9 a.m. to noon. Candy will be distributed to kids attending the car show. Also, a costume contest will be held at 1 p.m. There is a $10 fee for car show entries. Awards will be given. There will be ice cream and tacos available for purchase. Miniature ponies will be on hand, as well, and free wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizations or individuals who would like to set up a flea market at the event are welcome to do so free of charge.  For more information, call Dale and Christine Puls of Just An Angel at 217-419-1659 or 217-379-2388.

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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