« Back to News

Food Festivals: Past and Future

In perusing the Blade recently, we noticed that 60 years ago, Fairbury held a big community event in February (1956)! It was held on Saturday, February 4th, and here is what the “60 years ago” column said:

“Don’t let anyone steer you away from Fairbury Saturday. The Fairbury Chamber of Commerce, Livingston County Farm Bureau, and farmers of the area are sponsoring a meat festival here that day, with a big open pit barbecue as the main attraction.

“Everyone has been invited to make a hog of themselves, and for free, too. The barbecue, which begins at 11:00 am is only part of the program which will unfold in Central Park throughout the afternoon. There will be entertainers from radio station WLS, two meat cutting demonstrations, an FFA exhibit of meat and non-meat type hogs, award presentations to the four school students writing the winning essays in the meat essay contest, and musical entertainment by the high school band.”

Wow! Doesn’t this sound like a great event to “re-create!” At one of the City of Fairbury’s Community Action Discussion meetings, a food festival was brought up as an idea for a possible family event this summer. Making food a part of an event always makes things more fun.

Fairbury is becoming well-known in outlying areas, including restaurants in Chicagoland, for the food that is grown and raised here. Creating an event around locally-produced food seems like a real winner.

“Getting the students involved also makes things interesting and helps bring families out to enjoy the festivities,” says Bobbi McKeon.

“Besides families and students, this event could include the area farmers, restaurants, specialty shops, and other organizations. Wouldn’t it be great if this could become a regional event that would draw folks from all over central Illinois?” Bobbi says. “Please call me at (815) 692-4500 if you have more ideas or are interested in this possible project.”

As always, if you have any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics about our community, please stop by Heart’s Desire, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.