For some of you it was just another week-end, but for a good many others it was one of those non-stop adventures involving a sequence of events and happenings that the Fairbury Community is becoming renown for. Saturday, May 3rd, was a day that, if you did at all, you probably made it to the supper hour with a tired grin (or grimace) on your face—that is, if you didn’t choose to be a spectator that evening at the American Legion Speedway for some of the best pound stock car racing this side of Indianapolis.
Actually, the fun began Friday, for those seekers of plant life and such, with the start of Cascade Gardens 5th Anniversary Open House. JoEllen opened the green house doors at 9:00am out west of town on the Gehring farmstead giving access to her fine assortment of leafy green “stuff” along with refreshments, door prizes and special discounts and freebees. This was a two day affair so the festivities went through the motions again on Saturday. If you didn’t make it out there yet, don’t worry, the Garden’s will be open for their normal hours of operations until mid-June.
The “do-it-all” Saturday began at 7:00am with the pancake and sausage breakfast that the Fairbury Chapter of “Odd Fellows” has become famous for. In their location, above Meyer’s Gifts on Fairbury’s main street, the I.O.O.F. was serving up their seemingly never ending supply of griddle cakes and sausage links accompanied by apple sauce and coffee, mild, or water, all in the ornate setting of their membership hall. If you didn’t make it this time then you should try and catch them next time because the food is very good, the service is friendly and well provided, and the ambiance is, to say the least, interesting. They have a decor that includes some other austire theme – like wooden chairs for the Grand Master and his court and come very well appreciated metal ceilings and walls.
Note of Interest: This organization is not a group of folks who do strange things. Quite the opposite actually in that they are a non-profit entity whose efforts are concentrated on acquiring resources that are then channeled into a variety of needy and worthwhile community functions. Arnold Ifft, who has been dedicated “Fellow” for well over two decades, enlightened us with some details concerning the origin and purpose of this worthwhile Lodge. Their roots have a 19th century European Christian beginning which started with a group of men who organized efforts to help the needy. At the time this was considered a rather “odd” focus for any group and, thus the name was adopted, “Odd Fellows”. The lodge today is rich in traditional ceremonial procedures and their protocol is one which provides a participating atmosphere that leaves social vices, such as alcohol, gambling, and tobacco use on the outside looking in. By the way, if any of you are interested in joining this benevolent organizations talk to Mr. Ifft, or any of the Lodge’s members—there is always room for those who want to help make the area a better place to live in (and these guys have their share of organized fun too)!
Once you had breakfast out of the way it was time to head out north-east of Fairbury to Fugate Woods. Here at this Nature Preserve, a Prairie Lands Foundation Park, we stepped off at 9:00am on a guided trail hike which was identified with the handle, “Morning on Songs at Dawn Trail”. This introductory jaunt through some of Mother Nature’s finest gave the participants a firm impression of what peace ad serenity are really like in a “user friendly” atmosphere. Its right out there in the middle of all that farm land Folks and you can use it any time from dawn to dusk, so go on out and be at peace with nature. On Sunday, May 4th, there was the additional organized event characteristically entitled “Winged Life and Language of Flower”. This together presented insight into some of the many living thins that comprise this natural habitat of wild life so thanks to Sara Hostetter, out “Steward of the Woods”, and her entourage of fellow supporters. If you missed the May 3rd guided hike but are interested, there are additional tours scheduled for 9am on May 7th, 10th, and 14th so put on your buckskins and go take a hike!
Now, that we have out hunger out of the way and our minds in a peaceful state, its time to slide over into the fast lane. Back on main street Fairbury we have the Fairbury Community Sale and the plausible concept of treasure hunting. At 10:00am this annual “free for all” hit the starting gates with the auctioneers chant signifying a call to all those with registered numbers to meet the bidding challenge for those items that they had already made up their minds to take home with them. In addition to the cast assortment of goods that the auctioning effort caused to change hands there was also a very nice arrangement of concessionary stands, sidewalk specialty tables, and the open doors of the consortium of Fairbury business in the proximity, all of which provided an array of condiments to keep everyone comfortable. A few steps to the south of 3rd Street there was also the combined efforts of the local Garden Club which was holding their annual plant sale on the premise of our ever popular Dominy Memorial Library, so the variety that was offered by the over-all community forces covered just about everything you could think of. We hope that you all were able to fain ownership of those things that caught your fancy ,but if you didn’t, there’s always next year.
All in all it was a great day and we were fortunate on all fronts because the weather took a break from its punishing pace of late and gave us reasonably comfortable conditions to do our frolicking in. Stay tuned, there are more week-end events in the offing and if you follow our bulletins you’ll see them as announcements of things to come before they become news of what happened.