It’s July 10th and that can only mean one thing, it’s the start of the Heart Of Illinois Fair! It actually started last night, they had a preview night where there were rides and vendors set up and there was also a press party to which I was invited. I went to this party last year and it’s fun to mingle with people and hear about upcoming events that are going to be happening at the fair and there’s one other thing that’s great about the party...FREE BEER! Let’s go!
Here we are at Expo Gardens, home of the Heart Of Illinois Fair!
And this is the beer tent where the press party is going to start. We’re a little early as always, so let’s find a way to kill a little time...
Face painting...well now, this could be interesting!
This is Debra who is the artist that paints the faces at the fair! She pointed me over here...
To where you can pick a design for your face to be painted...
And here I am with the other kids who are waiting to get their faces painted. And yeah, I’m like 47 years older than anyone else here, that’s how I got to the front of the line! I’m the biggest and baddest of this face painting bunch!
It usually takes a woman at least an hour to make this kind of face and gesture while spending time around me, but Debra wasted no time in giving us a: “What am I gonna do with this guy?” look. Ha!
Debra’s quick with getting the makeup on the face and we’re just about ready...
To rock and roll all night and...uh...oh yeah...party every day. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
This is Debbie, who’s part of the face painting crew and took all of the photos! Thanks to her for capturing this moment in my personal moment in Kisstory!
I met PJ Star photographer, Ron Johnson after getting all made up and he got a nice shot of the action too and it’s in the paper today. Check it out here, thanks Ron!
Okay, I think now’s as good as any to check out the press party!
It looks like the party is off to a good start, I should mingle, but first...
I must prioritize the situation at hand and get...
The first of many free beers! This is David and he’s just one of the crowd of...
The Knights of Columbus who pour beer here at the HOI Beer Tent! My heroes!
This is Tim, who’s the Operation Manager here, I know that because it says so on his name sticker. I’m so intuitive!
Well now, there’s two familiar faces over there...
It’s MBIP pal and HOI Fair Director, Roxy Baker and WWCT’s Marc Alghini! Great to see both of them!
This was a great surprise, Sharon came up and said hi and we haven’t seen each other since about 1981! We both worked at Murray’s Department store back then! It was great to see her and talk about those crazy old days!
I ran into Bobby Spears and Jodi Hoos who’s a judge here in town. Maybe she can put a good word in the Peoria Courthouse for me! I could use a little break there these days! (Inside joke alert!)
Here’s Roxy making some announcements about the HOI Fair.
And suddenly...dinner happens! I got a piece of garlic bread and then had a couple more free beers.
It was cool to run into the Axe Women who I met last year. We all said hello and they wasted no time in trying to pick me up...
Which they successfully pulled off! From left, Andrea, Michelle, Alissa and Tracie. I love these women, they’re so much fun and they’re performing their ax and log rolling stunts Monday through Friday across from the Exhibit Barn at 6 and 8PM and Saturday and Sunday at 3, 6 and 8PM. Check them out at their website and on like them on facecrack.
And now...it’s bellybutton time, I think we should all join in on this...
So here we go! Can you guess who’s belly hasn’t seen the sunshine in about three decades?
Obligatory Greg and Roxy HOI Fair photo!
Okay, the sun is setting, let’s go wander and get some HOI Fair photos from tonight’s preview party.
Last year the sky was perfect for photos and this year it’s the same such luck!
Can’t have a fair without corn dogs!
There’s the midway with the sky providing a nice backdrop.
And there’s more fair food to be sampled over here at these booths.
Thanks to everyone at the Heart of Illinois Fair for a fun night and for the free beer! We’ll have more photos from the fair on Monday, so stay tuned for that! We’ll see you all tomorrow and hey, let’s be careful out there!