Usually, fans of the Marigold Festival have the chance to visit a celebrity guest, and, last year, John Ratzenberger, who starred as Cliff Clavin, the know-it-all postal worker from the T.V. show, “Cheers!” visited Pekin.
This year, the Marigold Festival Committee is pleased to have The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team as its guests.
The Patriots are an offshoot of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, and the players will first join the Marigold Festival Parade on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 7 before playing against police, firefighters and local softball players later that afternoon.
The Wounded Warriors operate the WWAST Kids Camp, a week-long camp that gives 20 children with amputations and missing limbs the chance to play softball under the mentoring of WWAST. The camp is free, and, the Marigold Festival Committee will host a Lagoon Glow to raise funds for the camp.
On Saturday night at 7 p.m., the public is welcome to release floating water lanterns on the lagoon. The lanterns are paper, and can be personalized with celebration messages and remembrances. The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is asking a minimum $10 donation per lantern, and they may purchased in advance at the Chamber offices at 402 Court St. Lanterns will also be made available the night of the glow.
As is tradition, the lagoon will be packed with vendors for Art in the Park, and the First United Methodist Church, across 14th Street from the park, will offer free parking and a hospitality tent with free bottled water Saturday and Sunday. The church will also feature “Friday Night on the Lawn”, from 5-8 p.m. that night.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, various acts will perform on the Pekin Community Bank Showcase Stage, including, The NikiBeats, Captain Quirk, The Corn Wolves and Lee Haw as “Elvis.”
This will be Pekin’s 47th Marigold Festival, so named after the favorite flower of the late Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen. Dirksen, who died in 1969, was an avid gardener, and was so fond of the marigold that he attempted unsuccessfully, to have it named as the official floral emblem of the United States.
In Pekin, however, the flower remains an icon for remembrance of the senator, who played football for Pekin Community High School and graduated second in the Class of 1913.
Marigold Festival Schedule of Events
Sept. 5 – Sept. 8
5–8 p.m. – Marigold Festival Wine Tasting Event,
Pekin Country Club
5:30–9:30 p.m. – Commerce Bank Carnival Bracelet Night
5-8 p.m. – Friday Night on the Lawn, Free Food and Games,
First United Methodist Church, 1315 Court St.
5-11 p.m. – Commerce Bank Carnival,
Parking lot north of Magic Dragon Golf
7 a.m.-6 p.m. – Hospitality Tent, Free Parking, Free Bottled Water,
1st United Methodist Church 1315 Court St.
7:30 a.m. – Running With the Saints 5K Run/Walk, Coal Miner’s Park
8 a.m.-5 p.m.- Sand Volleyball Tournament Hosted by the IRVSRA, Sand Volleyball Courts, Mineral Springs Par (Rain Date-Sunday)
9 a.m.-6 p.m. – Art in the Park
9 a.m.-6 p.m. – Hold-n-Load Package Service, Handicap Permit Parking Lot
9 a.m.-6 p.m. – Party Paparazzi, front of Pavilion on Pavilion Drive
10 a.m. – Marigold Festival Parade, Broadway St.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. – Kids’ Experience, Kiddie Korral Area
11 a.m.-11 p.m. – Commerce Bank Carnival,
Parking lot north of Magic Dragon Golf
11:45 p.m.-12:15 p.m. – Miss Marigold Pageant Contestants, Showcase Stage
12-6 p.m. – Game Zone, Diamond 1
12:30-1 p.m. – Pekin Community High School Noteables Show Choir, Showcase Stage
1:30-2:45 p.m. – By the Book, Showcase Stage
2 p.m. – USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team vs. Pekin Police and Fire Depts., Diamond 2
3:15-4:30 p.m. – The NikBeats, Showcase Stage
5 p.m. – USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team vs. Community team, Diamond 2
5:30-6 p.m. – Edgar Sandoval and Friends, Showcase Stage
6-7:30 p.m. – Captain Quirk, Showcase Stage
6 p.m. – Art in the Park Closes
7 p.m. – Lagoon Glow, Mineral Springs Park Lagoon
7 a.m.-5 p.m. – 1st United Methodist Church Hospitality Tent, Free Parking, Free Bottled Water, 1315 Court St.
9 a.m. – Chalk Walk registration
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Chalk Walk artwork, NE side of Lagoon
9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Art in the Park, Festive Foods, Soda Stations,
Ritchhart’s Mobile Zoo, Upper Limits Rock Climbing Wall
9 a.m.-5 p.m. – 182nd Airlift Wing Peoria Air National Guard Equipment Display, Royal Ave.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Party Paparazzi, In front of Pavilion
9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Hold-n-Load Package Service Handicap Permit Parking Lot
9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Game Zone, Diamond 1
10:30-11:45 a.m. – Community Worship Service, Showcase Stage
11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Commerce Bank Carnival, Parking lot north of Magic Dragon Golf
11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Kids’ Experience, Kiddie Korral Area
Noon – 2nd Chance Sunday Medallion Hunt, rules and clues via Pekin Marigold Facebook page, announcements in the park
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lee Hall as “Elvis”, Showcase Stage
2-3:15 p.m. – The Parke, Showcase Stage
3:45-5 p.m. – The Corn Wolves, Showcase Stage