Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Committee Meeting Kicks Off 2010 Festival

The Marigold Festival Committee officially began plans for the 2010 festival at their November 18th meeting. New committee members were introduced. They include: Althea Geiser, Chuck Lauss, Corrie Salmon, and Stephanie Stoneking. The committee schedule for the year was also set. All meetings will be held at the Pekin Public Library unless otherwise noted:

November 18, 2009 – 6:30pm (Tazewell County Farm Bureau)
January 20, 2010 – 5:30pm (working meeting)
February 24, 2010 – 6:30pm
March 24, 2010 - 6:30pm
April 21, 2010 – 6:30pm
May 19, 2010 – 6:30pm
June 16, 2010 – 6:30pm
July 7, 2010 – 6:30pm
July 28, 2010 – 6:30pm
August 18, 2010 – 6:30pm
September 8, 2010 – 6:30pm – At Mineral Springs Park Pavilion
September 10, 11, 12 – FESTIVAL WEEKEND
September 22, 2010 – 6:30pm
October 20, 2010 – 6:30pm
November 6, 2010 – Wrap Up Party at Pekin Insurance Lodge
November 17, 2010 – 6:30pm (2011 Committee)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marigold Committee Wrap Party

The Marigold Festival Committee wrapped up the 2009 festival year with a party. Retiring committee members Rose Marie Hasler, Doug Snell, Jan Becker and Jullie Nelson were recognized, as was this year's chairperson, Camille McCarty and last year's chairperson, Greg Henderson. You can see pictures from this event at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marigold Festival 2009

Thanks to everyone who made the festival a huge success. We've posted some pictures from just a few of the events and happenings at the 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival. You can see them at:

Monday, September 14, 2009

The NTS Marigold Festival Parade was held on Saturday, September 11th. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners:

Queen's Choice Award - Family Plot Haunted House

Sponsor's Choice Award - Community of Christ

Chairperson's Choice Award - Faith Baptist Christian School

Grand Marshal's Award - PCHS Noteables

Chamber President's Choice Award - First United Methodist church

Mayor's Choice Award - Marquette Heights Men's Club Spook Hollow

NTS Traveling Trophy - Central Illinois Tumbling & Trampoline

Pictures from the parade can be found on our photo site at:

A Pekin resident posted his pictures on another website and you can find them at:

Pekin Main Street's Friday Night Family Fest

Historic Downtown Pekin was packed with festival-goers as Pekin Main Street's Friday Night Family Fest kicked off the Marigold Festival weekend. The Lip Sync Contests, two bands, and several food vendors kept everyone entertained on a beautiful evening. You can see more pictures of this event at:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Change

There has been some confusion concerning the location of the PCHS Choral Parents' Organization Breakfast. It is Saturday from 7:00am to 10:00am at the Pekin Moose Lodge. It was previously promoted as being held at the Miller Center. We apologize for the confusion.

Pepsi Medallion Found

The Pepsi Marigold Medallion was found on Thursday morning, shortly before the release of Clue #9. Congratulations to Justin Clark (left) and Chet Strickfaden who deciphered the clues and found the medallion. You can find more information at:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

NTS Marigold Festival Parade Line-Up

Use the link below to see the line-up for the 2009 NTS Marigold Festival Parade. It starts at 10:am on Saturday, September 12th, and will process down Broadway, turn right down Court Court Street past the Courthouse, and then turn left on Capitol.

NTS Marigold Parade Line-Up

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pekin Main Street Annual Friday Night Family Fest

Pekin Main Street’s annual Friday Night Family Fest will be held on Friday, September 11, 2009, from 5-10:00 p.m. on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Pekin. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this family event to kick-off the Marigold Festival Weekend.

Entertainment on the Lip Sync Stage will begin at 6:00 p.m. with Patriotic ceremony lead by Mayor Rusty Dunn honoring our veterans and memory of 9/11. The popular 23rd annual Lip Sync Contest will begin at 7:00 p.m with Mike Burke and Dr. Chris Michaels from 104.9 the Wolf as the emcee’s. The contest will have eight acts in each of the four age divisions: Junior, Pre-Teen, Intermediate, and Senior, for a total of 32 acts. The judges this year will be Mayor Rusty Dunn, the Marigold Grand Marshalls (Larry & Willowdean Stone) and the recently crowned Miss Marigold, Diane Jess. The Lip Sync Stage will be located at the intersection of Capitol & Elizabeth. A few openings are still available for lip sync acts; Free registration forms can be found at or; the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce; Herget Bank location; and the Pekin Public Library. There are cash prizes for each

The Court Street Stage, on the corner of Court and Fourth Streets, will have live music by the band Loose Shoes, from 6-10:00 p.m. This local band plays tunes from 4 decades and has a strong rhythm section that is accented by a full brass combo and several exceptional vocalists. Covers and songs from the 1940’s to current hits are the predominant presentation material.

Pre-show performance by the “Free Time Band” with the Youth For Christ group directed by Jake Bland of Pekin from 5:30 – 6:00pm.

Families can enjoy great music and entertainment while sampling food from over a dozen different food vendors, including pork chop sandwiches, coney dogs, rib eyes, tenderloins, gyros, grilled specialties, strawberry shortcake, funnel cakes, fruit smoothies, ice cream, barbeque, pizza, roasted peanuts, Chicago style hot dogs, chicken egg rolls, lemonade shake-ups and more. Food vendors for the 2009 Friday Night Family Fest are: J&J Concessions, Jeff’s Snack Shack, Haddad’s, Pekin Main Street, Alzheimer’s Association, PCHS Choral Department, Cornbelt Concessions, Pekin First Church of the Nazarene, PJ’s Tropical Ice, Torrey Park Catering, Smokew Smitty’s BBQ, Mars Dogs, Roasted Peanuts, Thanh Linh, Uncle Bob’s Homemade Ice Cream, Generations Pizza and Pekin First Church of God. Food vendors will line Court, Capitol and Elizabeth Streets.

Pekin Main Street will have a Dunk tank fundraiser with Council member Tom Blanchard, City Manager Denny Kief and retiring Fire Chief Chuck Lauss all signed up to participate. Dunk tank will run from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Kid activities to include the Zoo Crew face painting, Unique Twist Balloon Artist, YWCA temporary tattoos, Peek In Pottery with pottery painting and the Peoria Riverman mascot and portable hockey game.

Event hosted by Pekin Main Street and major event sponsor is Herget National Bank. For more
information, please call the Pekin Main Street office at (309) 353-3100.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt Ready To Go

The First Clue in the Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt will be released at 11:30am on Monday, August 31st. The clues will be in the Pekin Daily Times, on The Wolf 104.9 FM, and on the Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt blog at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wiffleball Tourney

Another NEW EVENT this year is the Wiffleball Tourney sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Pekin. It will be held on Sunday, September 13th on Diamond #1 in Mineral Springs Park. Registration is at 9:00 am with games beginning at 10:00 am. Team categories are Competitive (Fast pitch) or Recreational (Slow pitch). Cost is $20 per person with a $75 team minimum. Also available for your enjoyment is the Home Run Derby. This event is open to the public with a $2 fee for ten swings of the bat that are NOT home runs. Download a team registration form at: You can also download the official Marigold Wiffleball Classic rules at: Wiffleball Classic Rules.pdf

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grow for the Gold Winners

Congratulations to the following residential and commercial winners in the 2009 Grow for the Gold Garden Contest. And thanks to the Pekin Garden Club for their assistance and congratulations on their 80th birthday!

Residential Winners
1. Melissa King - Chestnut Street
2. Harriet Arington - Lincoln Street
3. Debra Cooney - Florence

Commercial Winners
1. Pekin Community Bank - 601 Court Street
2. Kiwanis Club of Pekin - Court Street across from Memorial Stadium
3. Hoe and Hope Club - 14th & Willow

Monday, August 10, 2009

Diane Jess Crowned Miss Marigold

Congratulations to Miss Diane Jess who was crowned Miss Marigold at the August 8, 2009 Miss Marigold Queen Pageant. Also, congratulations to all of the contestants: Sarah Gouliard, Megan Shreffler, Marjorie Miller, Katrina Robison, Trisha Lynn Fleeharty, and Brittney Heath. You can see plenty of pictures from the pageant at

Friday Night Family Fest

Kick off the Marigold Festival weekend with the Friday Night Family Fest sponsored by Pekin Main Street. There will be lots of food, lots of fun and one of Pekin's favorite Marigold events - the Lip Sync Contest. Bring your lawn chairs and your appetite and be ready for a great night of family fun! Friday Night Family Fest is held on Friday, September 11th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm around the courthouse square in historic downtown Pekin. You can download an application for the Lip Sync contest by clicking here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CEFCU Soda Stations & Marigold Festival Commemorative Mugs

The Marigold Festival committee is pleased to announce CEFCU is sponsoring the Marigold Festival Soda Stations and commemorative mugs. The 22-ounce limited-edition, dated mug is made of heavy colorful plastic with a sturdy handle and carries this year's Marigold Festival logo. Mugs will be available before the festival at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and will include a coupon for soda products redeemable at the festival. Cost is $4.00 which includes a bottle of soda and $1 refills. Look for the CEFCU Soda Stations located on both sides of Pavilion Road in the Art in the Park area (refer to your brochure map). CEFCU Soda Stations will be open on Saturday, September 12th from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday, September 13th from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Marigold Festival 5K Run/Walk

The Marigold Festival Committee is pleased to announce American Legion Baseball is sponsoring this year's 5K run/walk on Saturday, September 12th, at 8:00am in Coal Miners Park. Since 1925, the American Legion has sponsored a nationwide youth baseball program. During these past eight decades, millions of young players have enjoyed playing baseball. The American Legion and their 2.8 million members have raised millions of dollars each year for players to develop their skills and personal fitness; to learn the importance of teamwork, discipline, leadership and good sportsmanship; and to have fun. You can download an application at:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Little Miss & Mister Marigold Pageant

The Little Miss & Mister Marigold Pageant will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2009, with the doors opening at noon, and the pageant beginning at 1:00pm at the Pekin Dragons Dome. There will be a break at 3:00pm for a cake reception. 'Unique Twist' Balloons will be making creations for the kids and there will be entertainment on the stage. Proceeds from the pageant will benefit Easter Seals, with the check to be presented on the Easter Seals Telethon by the winners.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Miss Marigold Pageant

This year the Marigold Festival Committee is proud to crown our 34th Miss Marigold Queen. Beginning in 1973, the Miss Marigold Pageant has become a long-standing tradition of recognizing talented and bright young women with a chance to represent our community during the Marigold Festival weekend and throughout the year.

We are especially proud of the pageant's focus on scholarship and in an effort to further recognize that commitment, this year's Queen scholarship has been doubled to $2,000 in an effort to better keep pace with the ever-increasing cost of higher education.

Also for the first time this year, contestants will be scored on their personal commitment to community service and involvement as part of the overall pageant scoring. This will also be the second year a separate Community Service scholarship has been awarded to one of the contestants.

So who will be Miss Marigold 2009? Join us at 7:00pm on Saturday, August 8th at the F.M. Peterson Theater at Pekin Community High School to find out! Tickets will be available for $5.00 in advance at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, or at the door on the night of the pageant.

Thanks to the following sponsors for their support: B'Ribboned, Etc., Covenant Heating & Air, Excalibur Seasoning Company, Illinois American Water, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes, SBSi Semonis Insurance Group, Tebben Insurance Services, Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care, and Vonderheide Floor Coverings.

And best of luck to our contestants: Trisha Fleeharty, Sarah Gouliard, Brittney Heath, Diane Jess, Marjorie Miller, Katrina Robison, and Megan Shreffler.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ameren Marigold Festival Showcase

The Marigold Festival Committee is excited to bring popular entertainment to the weekend, sponsored by Ameren Illinois Utilities. On Saturday, September 12th from 11:30 pm to 6:00 pm and Sunday, September 13th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm the free entertainment stage is packed full of enjoyment. The stage is located north of the Mineral Springs Park Lagoon.

Jim Markum Swing Band will entertain you with their "big band" sound. The group consists of 10 very talented musicians from the Tri-County area who will whisk you back to the music of the 'swing-era'. From the golden oldies to the modern sounds of pop, jump, swing and blues, this band can play them all. Bring your partner and dance in the aisles on Saturday, September 12th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Laura Clark is a singer/songwriter originally from Peoria, Il, now residing near St. Louis. No stranger to the stage, she served as worship leader at Riverside Community Church in downtown Peoria for over 5 years which serves over 1000 people every weekend. The best way to describe Laura's music is moderately earth folk with a classic pop sound and rich, soulful vocals. Her music is an expression of her life's experiences. She will be performing Saturday, September 12th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

Saturday, September 12th from 3:30 to 4:00 pm is the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the Friends in Harmony. This ensemble of singers from the central Illinois area, perform at civic, corporate, and private functions, providing a program of Broadway, easy listening, jazz, and gospel music. The men and women of Friends volunteer their time to serve the community with musical performance, and profits from those performances and the Christmas concert are donated to local charities. The complete ensemble of 27 members performs the Christmas United Way Benefit Concert in December, and a smaller group sings throughout the year for various community events. Directed by Bob Moser, they are available for your company or group entertainment.

"Dressed to Kill Show" is America's hottest and newest KISS Tribute Band. Formed in 2008 and based in Pekin, Illinois, they are four fans that somehow managed to find each other and put every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears into what would become the "Dressed to Kill Show". They have everything you would expect from a KISS tribute band: the Starchild, Space Ace, Demon and Catman. They have the sound, the look, the stage show, the energy and the vibe! Get ready for the KISS experience on Saturday, September 12th from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.

Worship in the Park ~ Grace United Methodist Church is a group of Christ following people who love serving their Lord and Savior. Our church motto is open hearts, open minds, open doors. These open doors we hope will allow people to come in and here about the one true God. Grace UMC has a solid tradition of preaching the Gospel to our community, and we pray with God's guidance, will continue to do so. Join our time together on Sunday, September 13th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.
Cathy Reynolds, Indieheaven's 2006-2009 Momentum Awards winner and Southern Gospel Artist of the Year, is a dynamic performer winning standing ovations from audiences of all ages. Her shows feature inspirational, patriotic and spirited southern gospel style with excellent song writing and production. Cathy's patriotic message of appreciation and hope to families of veterans is sure to bring comfort and encouragement. Her Gospel ministry is one of love and obedience to the Lord, JESUS CHRIST. Spend a memorable time with Cathy on Sunday, September 13th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. on the Ameren Stage.

"Quick Change ~ World's Greatest Magical Transformation". David Maas & Dania Kaseeva met in 1995 on a circus tour, where Dania was performing her award-winning hula-hoop act and David was working as a singing ringmaster.
Born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Dania is the daughter of one of the Russian circus living legends, Rustam Kaseena. She began training at age six in sports and gymnastics and later in acrobatics and dance, and combined these techniques to create a unique act making her professional debut at 14 in the touring production of the Moscow Circus. Her renowned act earned her international recognition~a fact sanctioned by the Gold Medal Dania won at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, in 1988. A headliner of the Moscow Circus from 1981-1990, she has performed extensively in Europe, South America, Asia and North America. In 1991-92, she was a featured attraction of the Big Apple Circus at New York's Lincoln Center and on tour. She has since settled in America.

David Maas was also raised in show business; his German-born father, Jerry Robert Maas, was a concert pianist. At age eight, an eager David put together his first circus act, juggling on a low wire. He trained in acrobatics, dance and theatre, and showed an exceptional talent for singing which led him, at nineteen, to embark into a twelve year career as a singing ringmaster for various shows in the US, Canada, and England. In 1994, he was awarded the Bronze Medal at the International American Performing Arts Festival. David also studied magic, a discipline he has practiced with great success for the past ten years.

Together, David Maas and Dania Kaseeva present Quick Change~one of the most original and astonishing magic acts ever seen on stage or in the ring since the days of the legendary Italian transformist Fregoli. During a non-stop dynamic and superbly choreographed dance exhibition, David and Dania puzzle a flabbergasted audience with staggering, flashing costume transformations, which happen in front of our incredulous eyes in fractions of a second. Whether presented on stage, on-court, or in a circus ring, their elegant metamorphosis are simply unbelievable. Since Quick Change's debut with this amazing act in 1996, audiences have responded to their incredible illusions with tremendous ovations~they left the theatre every night, wondering if they had not just dreamed what they saw! What they saw is the most exciting and magnetic magic dance act in the world today!! Don't miss the exciting shows on Sunday, September 13th at 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
At the Mineral Springs Park ~~ Pavilion Porch:
Julie K is a singer, songwriter, and new children's recording artist! She was born in Peoria, Illinois as Julie Kay Westendorf. Music has been part of Julie's life from a very early age. Her love for music led to classical training and eventually a scholarship to Rollins College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music. After having her son Weston, Julie opened her own business in Peoria teaching music and movement to children. After many successful years of teaching, Julie was determined to add a new element to children's music, providing a fresh sound that the entire family could enjoy. Using her passion for music and talent for relating to children, this new journey has begun. She will release her new CD entitled, 'A Sunny Day' and other contemporary interactive songs late August 2009. You can enjoy Julie K on Saturday, September 12th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm on the Pavilion Porch.

Wise Guise is an A Capella vocal group of 8 men that will entertain you with their wonderful and diverse musical selections again this year. During their 10 years in Illinois, they have performed for crowds from Wrigley Field to the State's Capitol. Frequently seen singing the National Anthem for the Peoria Chiefs, Peoria Rivermen and the Chicago Cubs, they have also been featured at local festivals and fundraising events. This group combines its love for music and the joy of great harmonies, with its desire to provide an entertaining variety of songs that people of all ages can enjoy. On Saturday, September 12th from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, they will be strolling the Art in the Park area and will appear on the Pavilion Porch from 1:30 to 2:15 pm.
Jason Juneke has been entertaining audiences for over 8 years at fairs, festivals and corporate events with his juggling expertise. His audience will experience the various different forms of juggling, unicycling, balancing, and manipulation along with background music and audience participation. In addition, Jason can provide balloon artistry, strolling juggling, and juggling workshops. Enjoy this unique talent with shows on Saturday, September 12th from 1:00 to 1:30 pm and from 2:30 to 3:00 pm.

Strawberry Jam brings together two acoustic guitarists who were influenced by the music of the Beatles and Pearl Jam. Nick Fleming and Ryan Massey have been playing together for over two years in the praise band at Our Savior Lutheran Church. Both play several instruments, including piano, harmonica and guitar. Nick is married and has a 4-year-old daughter, Lily, and is studying music at ICC. Ryan is a sophomore at Pekin Community High School. Strawberry Jam will be performing on Saturday, September 12th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on the Pavilion Porch.

Melanie Hiatt is a country singer/songwriter from Peoria, Illinois. This mother of two daughters is passionate about her singing career and has won several contests over the past few years. Melanie connects with her audience to give them a warm and memorable performance. Her husband, Robert, is her sound man and her mother has a booth in Art in the Park which makes this a family affair. Come and hear Melanie perform on Saturday, September 12th from 4:30 to 5:30 pm or Sunday, September 13th, from 1:00 to 2:00pm ~~ both on the Pavilion Porch.

New Event: Pekin's Next Top Dog

Click the picture above to see a larger version, or download the flyer at:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Committee Continues Planning

The Marigold Festival Committee is now meeting every 3 weeks, as the annual festival draws closer. The committee of volunteers meets year round to plan the details of the festival. They also have a hands-on leadership role in the many events leading up to and throughout the festival weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

2009 Little Mr & Miss Marigold Pageant

2009 Little Mr & Miss Marigold Pageant
Pekin Dragon's Dome
Sunday, July 26, 2009

All proceeds from the 2009 pageant will benefit Pekin Area Easter Seals. Winners from the pageant will appear on the 2010 Easter Seals Telethon with a check presentation.

Join us for a fun, family, Marigold Festival event. No experience is necessary. We are looking for girls & boys with personality plus. There will be many appearance opportunities and events throughout the year.

There are several age groups for boys and girls. Registration forms are available at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 402 Court Street, or you can download one at:

Pre-registration and Q/A at the Pekin Public Library July 21st from 6:15-7:00

Monday, June 1, 2009

Grow for the Gold Garden Contest

Back again this year is the Grow for the Gold Garden Contest. Help make Pekin the Marigold Capital of the World with your Marigold gardens.

All entries must have a Pekin address and flowers must be visible from the street. The marigolds can be by themselves or in combination with other flowers. You may enter your own flowers or your neighbor’s garden. The entry deadline is August 5th with judging on Saturday, August 8th. A photographer will take pictures of all entries. The judge’s decision is final with cash prizes to be awarded. For an entry blank visit the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce at 402 Court Street or download at:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009 Marigold Festival Grand Marshals: Larry & Willowdean Stone

Larry and Willowdean Stone came to Pekin in August of 1952. Larry began teaching History and American Government at Pekin Community High School, then became a counselor, followed by Principal of the West Campus. He retired from PCHS 36 years later and worked for 3 more years for the ISBE as a vocational coordinator. Larry is a member of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and a member of the Tazewell County Retired Teachers Association, receiving the ‘Retired Teacher of the Year’ award in 2006.

In the early 50’s, he worked with Rev. Entwistle and Lester Foote in setting up a Civil Defense System for the City of Pekin (defense vs. a possible nuclear attack from the USSR). Larry also was on the committee to establish the first Group Home in Pekin. He started the Key Club within PCHS.

Larry has enjoyed serving on many committees and boards including: Tazewell County Branch of the American Cancer Society; Tazewell County Mental Health Board; Pekin Library Board for 17 years (President for 8); Pekin Kiwanis Club since 1974 (serving as President and Lt. Governor of Div. 20). He started the ‘Car Seat Distribution Program’ within Division 20, which remains a strong program today. Larry was awarded the ‘Hixson Fellowship Award’ by his club and Kiwanis International. Larry was an escort at the Pekin Hospital for five years and he and Willowdean were active member of the Douglas School PTA.

Larry is a life member of The American Legion (having served as a combat soldier in Patton’s Third Army during WWII). He is also a 32nd degree Mason and belongs to the Empire Lodge #126 in Pekin and to the Peoria Consistory. He is a member of the Pekin Park District’s Computer Club and an honorary member of the Pekin Altrusa Club. He has been the commencement speaker several times for Rankin and South Pekin Schools.

Larry has been involved in music most of his life. He sings in the church choir, and stepped out into the community by being a part of the Pekin Civic Chorus under the direction of Harry Langley and Don Valenti, often as a soloist. He and Willowdean are sponsors of the Pekin Community Concerts.

Willowdean has been a nurse for 40 years in many areas of the hospital including: Assistant Supervisor on a Surgical Unit and 2 years as a Nursing Care Manager in a Surgical Unit; Supervisor in Pediatrics at Pekin Hospital; and, she taught Nursing at St. Francis Hospital for 25 years.

She has been a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader serving on the Girl Scout Board and writing the weekly scout articles for the Pekin Times.

Willowdean actively participates with many organizations including: the Altrusa Club, being a member for 40 years (President and other offices and chairs); ANA/INA professional organizations (President, Treasurer and other offices); YWCA and Y-Reserves. Being very outgoing, Willowdean has tried to encourage others by helping people get their GED. She loved to read to the children at the Y Daycare, visit Nursing Homes and send cards to brighten their days. She has received the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Service’ in 2005 from the YWCA.

Willowdean’s church activities have been very close to her heart as well. She has been active in Church Women United (President and other offices), and was chosen ‘Valiant Woman’. She has been a part of providing a dinner a month at the Rust Transitional Center and started the ‘Angel Tree’ Program providing Christmas gifts to children who might not receive anything at all. She has received the ‘Mission Award of the Year’ at the local and district level in the United Methodist Church for her achievements.

Larry and Willowdean have been members of the Grace United Methodist Church since 1952 and have served on various committees ~ having chaired all of them at one time or another. Larry was the Director of Youth when they first joined the church. They have, and continue to, enjoy teaching Sunday School classes of all ages, Bible School and leading Bible Studies. Both have served as Certified Lay Speakers in the church as well.

Larry and Willowdean are both members of Friends of the Library. Willowdean served on their board and was Director of the Great Decisions Program with Larry being a presenter and discussion leader.

They are the parents of two daughters, Susan Stone-Yeck (deceased) and grandparents of her children Katherine Rose Stone-Yeck (18) of New York, and Addison Ferrill Stone-Yeck (23) of Staten Island, New York. Daughter Julia Ann Espe lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and is presently Assistant Superintendent of Education. Julia has three children, Gwendolyn Buchanan Miller (Jonathan) of New Jersey who has the Stones only Great-grandchild, Madelyne (5); Son James is an artist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and youngest daughter Elizabeth is finishing her Library training while working in the educational field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Needless to say, the Stones are very proud of their family, and Willowdean is traveling to New York for the graduation of Katherine Rose quite soon.

Individually or together, this couple has blessed our community in so many ways, and now they will serve as Grand Marshals of the 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Festival Planning Continues

The Marigold Festival Committee continues to meet and make plans for this year's festival. The group of 20 volunteers has been meeting monthly since the conclusion of the 2008 festival. The frequency of meetings will begin to pick up as the festival draws near.

At the May meeting the committee approved Civic Collage contracts with American Association of University Women, Parkway Christian Church, Pekin Hospital League, and TAPS.

The committee also approved contacts with the following organizations for the Pekin Insurance Festive Food Court: Pekin First Church of God, PCHS Choral Parents, PCHS/JROTC Boosters, and the Kiwanis Club of Pekin.

The committee approved the following events: American Red Cross Blood Drive, Easter Seals Little Miss & Mr. Marigold Pageant, Parkside Athletics/Pekin Park District Sand Volleyball, Pekin Main Street Friday Night Family Fest, Ritchart Petting Zoo, and the Tazewel County Health Department Breast Feeding Tent.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jimmy Johns Marigold Bags Tourney Applications Available

Last year’s phenomenally successful Jimmy John’s Marigold Festival Bags Tournament is back for a 2nd year. The 2009 tournament will feature twice the number of teams (128) and twice the prize money. First prize is $1000. The tourney will be on Saturday, September 12th at Mineral Springs Park, Diamond #1. The first round begins at 12:00pm.

Bags is a game similar to horseshoes (without the possibility of brain damage), but played with corn bags and portable game boards.

The committee would like to thank the Pekin Community High School graphic arts class and teacher Steve Huey for designing the posters, entry forms, and newspaper advertising.

So enter early (it’s cheaper) and come out to beautiful Mineral Springs Park to enjoy the sun and fun of a first class Bags tournament.

Entry forms may be down loaded at or you can go to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce or your local Jimmy John’s to pick up an entry form

Monday, May 4, 2009

Miss Marigold Pageant Contestants Needed

The Miss Marigold Pageant is an opportunity for young women ages 17 to 21 to model, perform and compete for nearly $3,000 in scholarship money. The pageant is open to the first twelve applicants meeting the criteria. The criteria, rules and applications are available at the PCHS Principal's office or at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 402 Court Street. Application deadline is June 15th. If you know a young lady who would be a good contestant, please nominate her. Download and complete the nomination form below and the Miss Marigold Pageant committee will contact her.

Nomination Form:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

NTS Marigold Festival Parade

Entry applications are now being accepted for the 2009 NTS Marigold Festival Parade. The parade is on Saturday, September 12th, beginning at 10:00am. The deadline for parade entries is August 28th. You can pick up an application at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 402 Court Street, or you can download an application here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2009 Marigold Festival Logo Unveiled

The Pekin Marigold Festival Committee has unveiled the logo for the 2009 festival. This is the first logo used by the committee that prominently features Senator Everett Dirksen.

The Marigold Festival began in 1972 as a way to honor one of Pekin's favorite sons. While in Congress, Senator Dirksen tried to make the marigold the national flower. In support of Dirksen, the community began growing marigolds. While Dirksen was unsuccessful in his efforts to make the marigold the national flower, his hometown of Pekin soon became known as the Marigold Capital of the World.

The 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival will be held on September 11th, 12th, and 13th. It's always the weekend after Labor Day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Events and Vendors Approved

At the April meeting of the Pekin Marigold Festival Committee the following events and vendors were approved for the 2009 Marigold Festival:

Civic Collage
PCHS Cheerleading Boosters
Tazewell County Democrats

Marigold 5k Race - American Legion Baseball
Package drop off & delivery - Pekin Flames Booster Club
Marigold Pet Pageant - Pekin Park District
Pony Rides - Rockin' P Rough Riders 4-H Club

Pekin Insurance Festive Food Court vendors
Boy Scouts Troop 65
Christian Civic Outreach
Faith Baptist Christian School
Grace United Methodist Church Family Focus
Pekin Emblem Club #424
Pekin Firefighters Local #524
Senior World
United Way of Pekin

Marigold Festival Grand Marshal Needed

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for Grand Marshal of the 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival. This annual honor is presented by the Marigold Festival Committee to recognize a local resident (or couple) who has given freely to the betterment of their community.

The Marigold Festival Committee is seeking nominees who have demonstrated their passion and dedication by giving generously of their time and talent to a variety of charitable and community organizations and activities. The nomination deadline is May 4, 2009. Nomination forms are available at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 402 Court Street, or the form can be downloaded at:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Events & Vendors Approved

At the March meeting of the Chamber's Marigold Festival Committee, the following events and vendors were approved.

Pekin Insurance Festive Food Court vendors
American Cancer Society
Boy Scout Troop 62
Job's Daughters Bethel #55
Pekin Rotary Club
Salvation Army
Southside Business Association

Civic Collage
Illinois Secretary of State
Tazewell County Democrats

Boys & Girls Club of Pekin - Wiffleball Tournament on Sunday
Pekin Hospital - First Aid Station
Rockin' P Rough Riders 4H Club - Pony Leads & Pictures
Upper Limits, Inc. - Climbing Wall

Festival Planning Summary

The Marigold Festival Committee has been hard at work planning the 2009 festival. Here are some highlights from the first three committee meetings of 2009:

CEFCU will sponsor the the soda stations in 2009.

Pepsi will return once again to sponsor the Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt.

A couple new events under consideration for the 2009 festival are a wiffleball tournament and a dog show.

Supplies have been purchased for the marigold beds located throughout Pekin. We're currently recruiting sponsors to help with the cost of the plantings.

The Jimmy Johns Marigold Bags Tourney will be back and even bigger than last year. Look for larger prize payouts to more teams, and an expanded tournament bracket with more game courts.

The date of the Miss Marigold Pageant has been tentatively set for Saturday, August 8th at Pekin Community High School. Look for application packets to be ready by the end of April.

Pekin Insurance has agreed to return as the sponsor of the Pekin Insurance Festive Food Court.

Registration packets have gone out to the returning Festive Foods vendors and a meeting was held with the vendors to answer any questions and review the procedures.