Marigold Festival shifts to A Taste of Marigold

Chronicle Media

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Marigold Festival Committee announced that while the traditional Marigold Festival is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be instead A Taste of Marigold.

Select events will be held during the previously scheduled Marigold Festival weekend – always the weekend after Labor Day – on Sept. 11-13.

“The health and safety of the community, our volunteers and our guests is our first priority. We continue to plan events which can be held safely and allow for social distancing,” the committee said in a written release. 

Masks will be required for volunteers and vendors and recommended for guests. Hand washing stations and hand sanitizer will be made readily available. 

The first Marigold Festival was held in 1973 to honor Pekin’s favorite son, Everett McKinley Dirksen. Dirksen continues to be honored each year at the festival. This year, we will continue this tradition virtually. 

The Dirksen Congressional Center will host an online video, while encouraging families to visit the Dirksen statue located in Mineral Springs Park. 

Other plans include a Drive-Thru Parade hosted by Grand Marshal Mary Haynes, a Drive In Movie Night, the Marigold Medallion Hunt, and the Chalk Walk contest. The Kid’s Experience committee will host a take and make giveaway with a drive through pick up. 

Due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, large gatherings and high touch events such as Art in the Park, the Miss Marigold Pageant, and the carnival will not be held this year, nor will there be a celebrity guest. The Festive Foods area will not be held in Mineral Springs Park, but is being planned at alternate locations. More information will be released soon relative to festival foods.

Marigold Merchandise, including the Marigold Mugs, will still be available for purchase through an online portal. 

With so many changes, communication will be vital for guests to know the times and places for events. ‘Marigold Live’ will provide daily segments via social media and will include pertinent event information and entertainment. In addition, interviews, Marigold Festival history, and stories relative to the festival will be featured for our viewers. 

Follow along on our Facebook page, “Pekin Marigold Festival” or on Instagram @PekinMarigoldFestival.