One of the critical things to keep a community alive is to continuously bring folks to town to shop, dine, visit, and play, and of course, ultimately to live!
In small communities like ours, one of the best ways to accomplish this is to have regular events that are interesting and draw folks from far and wide. Of course, the Fairbury Fair is a huge draw. For one hundred and forty years, Fairbury has hosted the Fair. We are one of the few small towns that are still able to pull this off, thanks to all the volunteers and the Fairbury Fair board.
The Fairbury American Legion Speedway is a huge draw for our town. Their special events draw thousands of people, and many people come on regular weekends, too. Most area communities don’t have this kind of weekly attraction. Many of the shop owner’s commented that they had a great week-end during the Prairie Dirt Classic. Interested folks were shuttled around town, to various shops and attractions. The shuttle van was driven by Dan Mullen and Doug Aaron, and was sponsored by the Speedway, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Fairbury Area Chamber of Commerce.
The All-Town-Garage Sales and Dominy Book Sale events also draw a lot of people into town, both from the local area, but also from outside. “This summer’s event was big with the Prairie Dirt Classic going on. Our spring and fall events also draw a lot of folks. We heard people coming from Chicago and Champaign who called for website/map information for our garage sales,” says Carol Ely, of the Fairbury Women’s Club that sponsors these events.
The Specialty Shops host regular events to draw shoppers from far and wide. An example is this year’s “Ride the Shops” event during the Fairbury Fair. Heart’s Desire Antiques & Accents, Kilgus Farmstead Country Store, Lost in Time/Lost Arts, Meyer’s Gifts & Services, Once ‘n Again/Frugality, Serendipity Cards & Gifts, Country Cupboard, Dave’s Supermarket, Nature’s Design Floral Gallery, and Fairbury Furniture are participating. Each shop is unique, and they work together to make Fairbury a destination point for shopping.
“It has been discussed at the City’s communication meetings that there is interest in developing more family-friendly events for our community. The Specialty Shops would be thrilled to see this happen, and it would be wonderful to include residents of the community. Family-friendly events are critical to the health of our economy! ” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire Antiques and Accents.
Please call Bobbi at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics to write for our community.