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The Blade – Community Needs Lodging and Special Events

Again, this week, we would like to continue sharing the responses to the survey sponsored by the Fairbury Planning Commission.

First, congratulations, to Chuck Renfro, for winning the $100 prize for answering the survey questions at www.justsurveyit.com. Each month the specialty shops group is sponsoring a new survey (short, only a few questions) about the area communities. So please take a moment to answer the questions and enter into the drawing for the $100 prize. This is another way to stay in touch with what is going on in our community – sometimes learning something new!

Based on the responses to another Planning Commission survey question, the community needs another place(s) for folks to spend the night in our local area. The question that was asked in the recent survey sponsored by the Fairbury Planning Commission was, “How strongly do you agree that we need a hotel/motel and/or some Bed and Breakfasts?”

Almost 70% agreed. A whopping 32.8% agreed “very strongly.” Only about 7% disagreed. The remaining 23% was neutral. So, here would be an idea for someone who would want to start a business! There would be several homes in and around town that would make some very nice, unique B&B’s. Anyone up to starting one?

Another question, “Which of these attractions do you think would benefit Fairbury?” received some interesting responses. The number one response was “Special Events” with almost 60% responding. Does this possibly mean that folks believe that the community should sporadically or periodically put together some interesting and unique events? Hey! That might be a great idea.

“The Chamber of Commerce sponsors some great events throughout the year, including the Community Sale and the Christmas parade. Volunteers and participation is critical to the success of these events. Could a committee, either driven by the Chamber or not, be formed to possibly augment some of what is being done already? It will take a lot of effort, but it can be fun. Please call me if you have any interest in brainstorming!” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire.

The second most popular attraction named was, farm-related tours and attractions. Both Kilgus Farmstead and Slagel Family Farm host tours and events. You can schedule a tour with Kilgus Farmstead by calling (815) 692-6080. You may view the milk-bottling on any Monday, Wednesday or Friday before 8:30am without any reservation. The scheduled tour of the farm is very interesting, too, as you can see their Jersey cows, Berkshire hogs, and their darling goats. Most likely you will get to see some babies, too!

During the months of May through October, Slagel Family Farm has a monthly scheduled dinner, prepared by well-known Chicago chef(s). These four course meals are prepared using products raised on their farm. Before the dinner, they offer a tour of their farm with the opportunity to ask question, hold baby piglets, gather fresh eggs, and interact with playful goats and lambs. Following the farm tour, you may be invited to view a butchering demo (not slaughter). This will be a cutting demonstration given at Slagel Family Meats, their butcher shop in Forrest.

Based on the feedback from the survey, area folks would like to see more of these types of tours. There are approximately 45 area farmers who supply meat, eggs, and produce to over 100 restaurant in Chicago and across central Illinois. Our area is becoming well-known for its fresh meat and produce. More farm tours and attractions would be welcome and would attract more folks to our area.

Other popular survey choices for attractions were more “specialty food/gourmet shops,” “nature walks,” “historic tours,” “culinary/food tours,” and “more antique stores.”

“This was a great survey question, and we look forward to the community’s continued input and participation!” says Bobbi.

As always, please call Bobbi at Heart’s Desire (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any ideas, thoughts or information to help our community! Once again, Bobbi states, “We will be happy to forward ideas to the Fairbury Planning Commission with ways to help improve Fairbury.”