Tazewell County news briefs

Summer will be here in a few months. Vendors can apply now for a space for the East Peoria Farmers Market held Fridays June 5 through Sept. 25 at the Levee District. (Photo courtesy of East Peoria Farmers Market)


Genealogical & Historical Society plans next meeting

The next meeting of the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society will take place Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Ehrlicher Research Center, 719 N 11th St., Pekin.

Jill Morelli, CG®, will present an online webinar entitled “Finding Dirk: Insanity in the 19th Century.”

Learn what you might discover in publicly available and court-obtained records.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tcghs.org or phone 309-477-3044.


Chili fundraiser and craft show coming up

The East Peoria Historical Society will be holding its annual chili dinner and craft show fundraiser on Saturday, March 7 from noon to 5 p.m. or until sold out at the Civic Plaza/City Hall, 401 W. Washington St., East Peoria.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Carryout dinners are available.

For more information, call 309-698-6524 or go to https://www.facebook.com/eastpeoriahistoricalsociety/.

IDOT project shuts down Riverfront ramp

The ramp from Riverfront Drive to eastbound Washington Street in East Peoria is closed for reconstruction.

The ramp is being reconstructed to accommodate future detour traffic from Interstate 74. All current eastbound Washington Street traffic will be detoured to westbound Washington toward the Bob Michel Bridge (Illinois 40) and River Road.

The ramp is expected to reopen in its original configuration by Thanksgiving, when construction on the Murray Baker Bridge on Interstate 74 is complete.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Use alternate routes when possible.

Vendor applications open for Farmers Market

Vendors are needed for the Farmers Market held Fridays June 5 through Sept. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The market is held in the Levee District, between Target and Gordmans. The Levee District retail area is bounded by West Washington Street, Clock Tower Drive, West Camp Street and Spinder Drive.

Vendor spaces are approximately 10 feet by 10 feet.

Vendors who sell fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, plants, eggs, poultry, baked goods, approved jellies and jams must have produced them within the State of Illinois.

Crafters must have items of original works of art created by the seller or a family member. The hand-created component must dominate the commercial component.

Re-selling is not permitted.

Cottage food operations will meet all requirements of the Cottage Food Act and submit appropriate licenses and permits.

Those selling a vendor’s products must be members of the vendor’s family or a paid employee.

Food concession carts are not allowed.

View and download the Vendor Application Packet (PDF).

Cost of $150 for the full season of 17 Fridays, due by Saturday, May 2, 2020. After May 2, the fee for the season is $200.

The cost for weekly is $25 per week per space for those not coming for the entire season. The weekly fee is due on or before noon the day of the market.

For more information, email Market Manager Theresa Unzicker, or call her at 309-208-8484.

Carla Presnell, Extension master gardener and master naturalist, was one of the 2019 Gardener’s BIG Day participants. Registration is open for this year’s event that is set for April 18. (Photo courtesy of U of I Extension)


Church hosts annual pancake & sausage day

Community United Church of Christ, 300 N. Main St., Morton, will holds its 67th annual pancake and sausage day on Saturday, March 7 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Admission for adults is $7 and admission for those under the age of 12 is $4. Tickets available at door or in advance. Call 309-266-7263 for more information.


Fresh food drive to be held all week

The Tazewell County Health Department is teaming with Parkside Athletics for a fresh food drive from 6:30 a.m. on March 7 through noon on March 13.

Residents are encouraged to stop by Parkside Athletics, 300 Red Bud Drive, and donate bags of fresh fruits and vegetables. The goal is to collect at least 200 pounds of produce.

The donations will go to food banks to help those in need.


Extension prepares for spring at Gardeners’ BIG Day

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will host the 20th anniversary Gardeners BIG Day on Saturday, April 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at at Spoon River College in Canton.

Early bird registration is $35 by March 23. After that the price increases to $45 until April 9 or the event reaches capacity.

Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists share their own expertise, invite many of their horticulture contacts, and line up Extension experts to present on a variety of topics of interest to new horticulture enthusiasts as well as further educate long-time gardeners.

This year’s session topics include trees, flowers, weeds, climate, tools, composting, and pests.

“This day-long event is structured to provide gardeners with information, ideas, and helpful hints for vegetable and flower gardening. Our planning committee select topics that appeal to Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, as well as first-time gardeners,” explained Bob Keene, Extension Master Gardener (EMG) serving in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit.

The 2020 keynote speaker is Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

She will be presenting on Project Wingspan: Landscape Enhancement for Imperiled Pollinators of the Midwest.

Other well-known presenters include Ella Maxwell, EMG and horticulturist at Hoerr Nursery; John Curtis owner of Barefoot Gardens CSA; Debbie Fluegel of Trees Forever, and Extension educators including Duane Friend, Ken Johnson, Jenna Smith, and Chris Enroth. “

Following the keynote speaker, participants can select their four break-out sessions from a total of 14 different options.

Space is limited for the event. Session description details are available within the online registration at go.illinois.edu/GBD20 or in a printed brochure available at the U of I Extension offices in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties.

If you would like one mailed directly to you contact Anita Wilkinson, Extension communications coordinator at 309-347-6614 or Paula Lane, Extension office support at 309-543-3308.