Metamora celebrates its roots, deep history at Old Settlers Days

By Holly Eitenmller for Chronicle Media

Metamora is hosting its 116th annual Old Settlers Days June 21-24. The fair was originally a one-day community reunion, and has since evolved into a four-day festival featuring carnival rides and games, entertainment, vendors, food and various events. (Photo by Holly Eitenmiller / for Chronicle Media)

More than 100 years ago, Metamora villagers gathered for a one-day community reunion to celebrate the town’s 1830s origins. That was in 1901.

Settlers originally arrived there from New England, and Metamora, originally named Hanover, served as the Woodford County seat until 1896. President Abraham Lincoln practiced law there. 

Villagers continued the reunion annually, and it eventually evolved into Old Settlers Days, now a four-day festival featuring carnival rides, games, fare, vendors, entertainment and events.  

This year, the festival will feature Metamora native Jake Maurer. Maurer, 37, lives and performs in Nashville, primarily at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. He is the son of Metamora mayor Ken Maurer. Jake’s brother, Luke, will also perform with his band, The Drifters, during the festival. 

St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School will again host a food tent, featuring double steak burger sandwiches, chili dogs, grilled pork chops and home made pies. Profits from the fair benefit the school’s parent teacher organization. 

Nashville singer and Metamora native, Jake Maurer, will perform Saturday night from 7-10 p.m. at the village’s Old Settlers Days festival. The up-and-coming country singer is the son of Metamora Mayor Ken Maurer. (Photo courtesy of Jake Maurer Facebook page)

Visitors may also enjoy some of the town’s historic features while attending Old Settlers Days. Historic Metamora buildings include the original 1845 Woodford County Courthouse, the 181-year-old Lee Cabin, and the pre-Civil War home of Adlai E. Stevenson I. 

Wednesday, June 21 

Carnival Rides: 5:30 – 10 p.m. 
Entertainment: Luke Maurer & the Drifters – – 10 p.m. 

Thursday, June 22 
Carnival Rides5:30  10 p.m. 
Entertainment: The Haybilly’s featuring Billy Vancil – 7  10 p.m 

Friday, June 23 
Carnival Rides: Noon – 10:00 p.m. (Rides closed 5 – 6 p.m.) 
All you can ride $16 Wrist Bands – Noon to 5:00 p.m. 
Kids Tent: 1 – 4 p.m.  Free Crafts and Raffle 
Barnyard Discoveries: (free admission) 2:00 – 4:00 
Entertainment: Joe Stamm Band  7  10 p.m. 

Saturday, June 24 
45th Annual Lincoln-Douglas Run – 8 mile and 3 mile run/walk –  7:30 a.m. 

Half-mile kids 12 and under run: 8 a.m. 
Old Settlers Day Parade: 10 a.m. 
Carnival Rides  Noon – 10 p.m. (Rides closed 5 – 6 p.m.) 
All you can ride $16 Wrist BandsNoon to 5:00 p.m. 

Merilee Studios performance: Noon – 1:00 p.m. 
Kids Tent 1 – 4 p.m. – Free Crafts and Raffle (15 and under) 
Entertainment: Nashville singer Jake Maurer, Metamora native: 7 –10 p.m. 
All Nights: 
Multiple drawings each night at 9 p.m. for gift certificates to local businesses. Enter at the Old Settlers Committee tent by the gazebo. No charge to enter, must be over 16 to enter and present to win. 

— Metamora celebrates its roots, deep history at Old Settlers Days —