List of upcoming community events (Nov. 21, 2017)

The Brotherton-Keller VFW Post No. 6289 in Gibson City will be conducting its annual Christmas basket delivery on Saturday, Dec. 16. Food and monetary donations may be dropped off at the VFW post, located at 122 S. Lott Blvd., from 4 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Names for basket recipients may also be dropped off at the VFW post or called in to 217-784-4210 during the same time frames. The mailing address is: VFW Post 6289, 122 S. Lott Blvd., Gibson City, IL 60936.

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.

Retired and semi-retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest will be Mike Harroun, owner of the Harvest Moon Drive-in Theater. Harroun will talk about the changes in the movie industry and the challenges of owning a drive-in theater.

Veterans of all wars and their spouses will be the special guests of the Sibley Senior Citizens on Tuesday, Nov. 21, when a potluck dinner will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Sullivant Township Hall in Sibley. Persons attending are asked to bring their own table service and food to be shared. This will be the group’s last meeting until March.

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sibley is holding its annual Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, in the church’s parish hall. Treats will be provided following the service.

A full night of fun with food, live entertainment and a Queen of Hearts drawing for a chance to win as much as $2,000 will be held Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the Gibson City American Legion post.
Proceeds from the event benefit both the Gibson City Rotary Club and the proposed skatepark in Gibson City.
An all-you-can-eat nacho bar will be offered for a $6 donation starting at 6 p.m. Proceeds support Phase II of the Rotary Club’s North Park project.
From 7 to 9 p.m., live music will be performed by Leah Marlene, a 16-year-old singer/songwriter/musician.
From 9 p.m. to midnight, Gibson City’s own acoustic duo Jordan and Jill will perform live music.
At 10 p.m., the Queen of Hearts drawing will be held. Tickets must be purchased by 9:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the event. There will also be a 50/50 drawing. The drawings will raise funds for the skatepark.
The American Legion post will also be serving beer and drinks throughout the event.

PRIDE in Paxton’s annual tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at the intersection of Market and State streets in downtown Paxton. During the event, Paxton’s Christmas tree will be lit for the holidays. Also, the Paxton Park District’s holiday prince and princess will be announced. The Hope Vineyard Church will be hosting the event and will be providing hot chocolate and cookies. There will be a story time held at the downtown church after the tree is lit.

The Elliott Amvets will host a mountain oyster fry starting at noon Saturday, Nov. 25. Available will be chicken liver, gizzards, and macaroni and cheese.

PRIDE in Paxton’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, in downtown Paxton.
“We are inviting all members of our armed forces, businesses, marching units, bands, Christian and civic units, floats, antique vehicles, new cars, farm machinery, individuals and families to enter and participate in this year’s parade,” a news release from PRIDE said.
Line-up for the parade — which will have the theme “A Taste of Christmas” and feature the Cola-Cola Bear as its grand marshal — begins at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Taft and Orleans streets. The parade will move east on Orleans Street before turning onto Market Street. It ends at the intersection of Market and Pine streets.
All entries should be decoated in some manner. No Santa Claus figurines should be on floats, so as not to confuse small children.
Judges will choose the best  parade entries in the areas of “best of show,” “theme-oriented” and “most unusual/unique.”
For more information, call Teri Hancock at 217-379-4245.

The Home for the Holidays Multi-Vendor Event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Paxton American Legion Hall on East Pells Street. Vendors selling their goods will include LuLaRoe, jBloom,  Lipsense, Thirty One, Beauty Counter, Paparazzi and NuSkin.

 The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 427 will host a breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, at the American Legion post in Saybrook. Donations will be accepted.

The Ford County Republican Women will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, at Monical’s Pizza in Paxton. People do not need to be from Ford County to participate and join the group. Everyone is welcome.

The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 427 will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the American Legion post in Saybrook. Dinner includes spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. Dine-in orders are all-you-can-eat. Carryout orders are also available. The cost of the meal is $7.

The Arrowsmith American Legion post will hold a fried chicken, walleye and catfish fillet supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. The meal is all-you-can-eat when dining in. Children under age 10 east for free when dining in with a parent. Carryout orders are available, but they are not all-you-can-eat.

The Elliott Amvets will host their Chicken and Fish Family Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. A children’s menu will be available, featuring chicken tenders.

The Collingsworth Family Christmas Extravaganza is coming to Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
The Collingsworths are only performing their Christmas concert at nine locations throughout the U.S. The Collingsworth family was recently awarded the Singing News Fan Award for favorite mixed group for the seventh year, and Kim Collingsworth was awarded favorite musician for the eighth consecutive year.
Advance tickets are available.  To purchase tickets, people may call Les at 217-841-3132 and mail a check and self-addressed, stamped envelope to P.O. Box 209, Royal, IL 61871, or people may use a credit card to order tickets at

The Champaign-Urbana Ballet’s holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” returns to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on Dec. 1-3 and Dec. 8-10.
This time-honored family tradition will feature even more new costumes — designed and handmade by local volunteers — along with magical effects, new set pieces (like tree roots that grow before audiences’ eyes and new cavalry props made by Mahomet art teacher John Odum and his students), special guest appearances in the role of Mother Ginger, and much more.
The production features intricate stagecraft, live orchestration by the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and, as always, the artistry and athleticism of CU Ballet’s dancers.
“The Nutcracker” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, Dec. 2, Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 2, Dec. 3, Dec. 9 and Dec. 10.
Tickets may be purchased at the Krannert Center Box Office at 217-333.6280 or at Prices are $45 for an adult, $30 for a student and $21 for youth.

The American Lutheran Church, located at 905 E. 1st St. in Gibson City, is holding its annual Cookie Walk from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 2, in the church’s parish hall. Decorated cookies will be sold for $6 per dozen. Undecorated cookies will be sold for $5 per dozen. For more information, call 217-784-4841.

The first annual Jingle Bell Junction Christmas Shopping Event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Wesbein United Methodist Church, 113 N. Main St., Saybrook.
There will be inexpensive items as well as local vendors from which to choose.
Local vendors will be available in the church’s lower level to entertain the adults while children are shopping upstairs. The local vendors will include Avon, Tupperware, Advocare, Scentsy, Thirty-One, Posh, Homemade Crafts, Chic Little Something, Pampered Chef, LuLaRoe and Baked Goods.
Santa will be visiting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can bring their own cameras or have a volunteer on hand take a picture with Santa for them.

The Friends of the Dominy Library will hold a Christmas book sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at The Indian Creek Holiday Market, located inside the Southeast Livingston County Ambulance Service/Fairbury Fire Department building. Available for purchase will be a selection of like-new Christmas books, including classics, children’s books, cookbooks, religious books and romance novels. Holiday books range in price from 25 cents to $1. That same day will be the Fairbury Christmas Parade.

The nonprofit Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society will sponsor its Les Artisans Arts and Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds Expo, 213 W. County Road 4000 South, Kankakee.
Artisans will offer a variety of handmade items and original art at all price points, including wall art, pottery, stained glass, fiber arts, woodcrafts, baskets, upcycled and recycled vintage, metal sculpture, jewelry, wrought iron, seasonal décor, painted glass and wood, honey and honey-based bath products and candy. Turtle Acres will offer baked goods and lunch items. Coffeeism will be on-site with artisan coffee and other specialty drinks, and Dave’s Coffeecakes will again be selling its products.
For more information, contact Ellen Stringer at
Booth rentals raise funds for the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society’s Le Tourneau Home Museum and Adrian Richard Heritage Preserve in Bourbonnais.

Returning favorites and a special guest will sing the featured solos for this year’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”
The performance will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Gibson City Bible Church, located along Illinois 47 on Gibson City’s west side.
Soloists will include two local vocalists — Andrea Dunahee of Fisher, a soprano, and Amanda Broaddus of Gibson City, an alto. Male solos will be performed by Jason Morgan of Savoy, a tenor, and James Mayer of Urbana, a bass.
Shandra Summerville of Urbana will be a special guest and the featured soloist this year. The entire performance is being dedicated to the memory of her father, the late Willie T. Summerville, who died March 7, 2017.
An accomplished music educator in the Urbana area, Mr. Summerville directed the local “Messiah” performance for 10 consecutive years, with the 2016 performance being his last. The Messiah’s “Hallelujah Chorus” was featured in his celebration of life service.
Dr. Janet McCumber is directing this year’s performance. She earned a doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Illinois. Her music education includes a master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.
McCumber has taught music and directed choruses at the university and high school levels. She has directed choral festivals throughout the state, including the District V Senior Chorus for the Illinois Music Educators’ Association.
The chorus features volunteer singers in four-part harmony from area towns. Rehearsals continue to be held Monday nights, beginning at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Gibson City. A dress rehearsal will be held Dec. 2.
Professional strings, timpani, and trumpet from the Champaign-Urbana area will accompany the performance. Beverly Hilmer of Fisher and Bill Ogg of Gibson City will be the pianists.
The annual performance is sponsored by the Gibson Area Music Foundation. To date, annual fundraising for the performance has reached about two-thirds of the $4,500 needed.
Donations are needed and appreciated. Contributions can be sent to the foundation’s address of P.O. Box 292, Gibson City IL 60936.
A reception with refreshments will be held after the performance in the church’s front lobby.

The Book Exchange, located at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in Fisher, will be open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and Dec. 18. There are some 4,000 books available. There is no charge to obtain a book, just the honors system. At the rummage table, there is a selection of dolls, glassware, vintage crochet, home interiors, sewing notions and even a 6 1/2-foot pre-lit Christmas tree.  Sales from the table as well as a tip jar for donations help with expenses and keep the free book exchange in operation.

Members of Paxton American Legion Auxiliary Prairie Post No. 150 will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, at the American Legion Hall on East Pells Street in Paxton. Refreshments will be served following the meeting.

The Purdue University Extension and University of Illinois Extension are collaborating to offer the annual Bi-State Crop Management Conference, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 5, at The Beef House Restaurant, 16501 Indiana State Road 63, Covington, Ind.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. (EST), and the presenters will begin promptly at 9 a.m. (EST).
This year’s lineup will include:
— “Corn Updates” by Robert Nielsen, professor of agronomy at Purdue.
— “Soybean IPM” by John Obermeyer, an integrated pest management specialist at Purdue.
— “Dicamba Update and Weed Management Strategies” by Dennis Bowman, an Extension educator in commercial agriculture for the UI Extension, and Jim Luzar, an Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources for the Purdue Extension.
— “Market Outlook” by Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.
— “Weather Outlook” by Jim Angel, Illinois state climatologist.
The conference will include a break at 12:30 p.m. to enjoy a Beef House buffet lunch and conclude at 2:30 p.m. (EST).
The cost for the program is $20, which includes lunch, payable at the door. Education credits for Indiana private applicators, certified crop advisors and Indiana commercial applicators have been applied for and will be available for an additional $10.
Pre-registration is required by Dec. 2 by calling 765-793-2297 or visiting

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Mareci’s Bakery, located at 442 S. Market St. in Paxton, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the bakery. After the ceremony, sponsored by the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce, attendees will be treated to a cup of coffee and baked treats.

The Saybrook American Legion Post No. 427 will sponsor a whole catfish, chicken or all-you-can-eat walleye supper from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the Saybrook American Legion Hall. A choice of one of the meats as well as sides will be served.  People can dine in or take an order to go.

The ACT Theater Company will present “Christmas Thieves: A Small-Town Radio Play” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, at Father Kirk Hall, located just south of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 534 N. Wood St., Gibson City.
“Christmas Thieves” is a comedy set on Christmas Eve in America’s heartland. It tells the story of radio host Bjorn Gundlarrsen, who is preparing for a telethon performance that he hopes will keep his tiny polka radio station afloat. Unfortunately, the troupe of British actors who were hired to headline the telethon has fallen ill. With time running out, will Bjorn be able to replace them in time and save the show and the station? He needs a Christmas miracle! 
The play was written by Greg Oliver Bodine. It is presented through special arrangement with Playscripts Inc. The director of the local production is Ann Spangler. Musical director is Megan Whitehouse.
Tickets cost $12, which includes dessert at intermission.  General admission tickets can be purchased at For children and senior ticket information, call 217-784-5644.

The Forrest American Legion post will hold a pancakes/sausage/eggs breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the American Legion Hall in Forrest. The cost of the meal is $7 for persons over age 12; children ages 6-12 eat for $4. Children ages 5 and below eat for free. There will be meat for sale at the event.

The Paxton Park District will host its annual Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 10:30 a.m. The breakfast is free and will include eggs, sausage, hash browns, French toast  and drinks. The park district will also have activities for the kids and Santa.

The Madrigal Singers of Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School are inviting the public to their annual royal dinner scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the school’s commons area.
Tickets are being sold in advance of the event — through Dec. 1 — for $20 each. The price includes a meal catered by Pie’s the Limit in Savoy.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the show starting at 6.
For more information or to buy a ticket, people can contact Miranda Rowland at

The Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad’s Santa Claus Train will pass through a number of area communities on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10. The train, carrying Santa, will not depart from each town until all of the waiting children get to visit with Santa. The train will make stops on Dec. 9 in Gibson City (8-10:30 a.m.), Melvin (noon to 1:15 p.m.), Roberts (1:45-3 p.m.), Thawville (3:30-5 p.m.) and Onarga (6-8 p.m.).  The train will make stops on Dec. 10 in Danforth (10:30 a.m. to noon), Ashkum (1-2:30 p.m.) and Clifton (3:30-5:30 p.m.). The Santa Train will also stop in Gilman from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. The Santa Train will stop at the old Specialty Grain store in Gibson City. The Gibson City Lions Club will have treat bags for the children.

Cub Scout Pack 35 and Boy Scout Troop 32 are holding a food drive at the Paxton Scout Hut from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, to support local food banks. It will be a drive-by food drive during which the Scouts will collect items from vehicles dropping them off. All food, personal hygiene items and clothing are welcome.

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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