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. 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 are not so fortunate.
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 have heard people coming from Bloomington, Indiana, and Braidwood just for our garage sales,” says Carol Ely, of the Fairbury Women’s Club that sponsors these events.
Julie Patten, the pharmacist at Doc’s Pharmacy, holds a monthly “Doc’s Cares” event. These events cover specific health-related topics each month. Recent topics included “walking,” “oral health,” and “fight the fat” (diabetes-related). Generally, these events are on the first Tuesday of the month at 2pm. Doc’s serves a wide area, and we are very fortunate to have them in town.
Of course, the Fairbury Fair is a huge draw. For one hundred and thirty-nine 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 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, The Spotted Owl, Antiques & Uniques, Country Cupboard, Dave’s Supermarket, Nature’s Design Floral Gallery, and Fairbury Furniture participated. Each shop is unique and they work together to make Fairbury a destination point for shopping.
Open houses like the one held by SELCAS and the Fairbury Fire Department also draw folks into Fairbury to experience our great town. With SELCAS serving the Prairie Central area and having a huge following of supporters, this was a great event!
“It has been discussed at the City’s communication meetings to form a committee of interested citizens to develop 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.” 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.