Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, The Heart Of Illinois Fair with special musical guest stars, Southern Cross and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now please welcome this week’s host, celebrating its 67th year in Peoria, The Heart Of Illinois Fair!
Here we are at the 67th annual Heart Of Illinois Fair! As you can see from the cars in the parking area, there’s a good crowd here tonight. And inside the ticket booth at the entrance at Expo Gardens is one of our favorite fair workers, the pretty and ever-smiling Kisha! Always love to see her and now let’s go in and start our weekly Saturday Night adventure!
I was only steps inside of the fair and I ran into my friends, Heart Of Illinois Fair Director Roxy and Greg! Here they are getting ready to hit the midway, from left: Greg, Roxy’s sister, Gloria, her brother, Matt, Roxy and Roxy’s mom, Pam! Great to see them and now it’s time to get some fair food for our official MBIP Saturday Night Dinner!
Lemonade and Corn Dog
I wandered around the food vendors and went past an old fashioned soda stand that looked interesting, but decided to get my dinner drink at the smallest vendor on the food midway! This place sells lemonade shake-ups and here’s the two women working the cart serving up a frosty glass. Then I went to the Jumbo Corn Dog vendor because you have to eat a corn dog at the fair, it’s just the rules! And check out the giganzo corn dog they serve up! I added a healthy dollop of mustard and was on my way towards the main course of the evening...
BBQ Turkey Leg
This is my favorite food vendor at the fair, The Dinner Bell! They’ve been my go to spot for the last couple of years and they never disappoint! Apparently I’m not the only one who feels like this, because they had already sold out of ribs and rib tips and the only item left on the menu was the barbecued turkey leg, so I got one and it was amazing! It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever had at the fair and I’ve sampled all kinds of food here! you can read more about it in the review below, but it was a smoky, juicy and savory treat! Plus, it's portable, you can eat it while walking around the fair!
Funnel Cakes are a popular item here at the fair, but I met Tom and Maggie from Erma’s Sweet Rolls last Thursday at the HOI Preview Night and promised them I’d come back and try one of their cinnamon rolls, so that’s dessert tonight! The cinnamon rolls are huge here, kind of the size of a mini spare tire and they’re served up warm with the icing melted and the roll is flaky and delicious! A very happy ending to a great three course meal here at the fair! Now let’s go take a look at the midway and the rides that are lighting up the sky here!
The Midway—The Rides
I love wandering around the midway at the fair and watching the rides in action and the colors and action flying up in the sky!
The Midway—The Games
In addition to the rides on the midway, there’s lots of colorful stands with games to play and win prizes. One problem is I suck at these games, so I had to look around for one...
That guarantees a prize every time! And so when I saw a sign at this booth saying: “A Winner Every Time,” well, I had to give it a shot, literally! The booth has a gun that shoots corks and you can aim at a prize and even if you miss the one you’re aiming for, you’ll hit something and I won three prizes! What are they? Well, tune in to Good Day Central Illinois this Wednesday morning at 8Am and I’ll reveal these prizes and hand them out to Lindsey, Clay and Lauren! Tune in for that in two days!
The Beer Garden
Well, well, well, look where we’ve ended up, The Beer Garden! Imagine that! Well, as long as we’re here, we may as well stop in! As you can see from the sign, The Beer Garden is sponsored by The Knights Of Columbus, council 427! Working the beer wagon is Jim, Laurie, Matt and Michelle! And there’s live music here tonight too, starring my personal friends and a great band, Southern Cross! It looks like it’s just about show time here at The Beer Garden!
Southern Cross Live @ The Beer Garden
Ladies and gentlemen, Southern Cross! The Beer Garden has a new stage and dance floor and it’s very impressive! And equally impressive is Southern Cross, this band can really put on a show and they have tunes to satisfy every music lover out there. Their set list runs the gamut from country to rock ‘n roll and everything in between. Some of the songs they feature while playing live include: “All Shook Up,” “White Lightening,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Honky Tonk Women” and “You Shook Me All Night Long,” just to name a few. They put on a great show here at The Beer Garden and upcoming bands playing here this week include: The Joe Stamm band this Wednesday, Brainchild and Steady Flow on Thursday and Still Shine and Comatose Catfish on Saturday. Check the entire schedule by clicking right here. The Heart Of Illinois Fair continues all week with fun, food, vendors, rides and entertainment! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
If you only get one thing to eat at this year’s Heart Of Illinois, go directly past the front gate and march to the Dinner Bell’s food stand and order the barbecued Turkey Leg! This is the best treat I’ve ever had at the fair! It’s a meal that you can easily eat while walking around and it’s smoky, succulent, juicy and barbecued. And it’s a giant turkey leg, which will make you feel like the King of the Fair as you eat it! I also had a corn dog, which you have to have at the fair, it’s jut the rules and it was good, hey, it was a hot dog deep-fried in corn bread, how bad could it have been? For dessert, I skipped the funnel cakes and decided to try a cinnamon roll at Erma’s Sweet Rolls and it was sweet, warm, flaky and delicious!
Four Galloping Gourmets—For the Turkey Leg at The Dinner Bell, smoky, barbecue deliciousness all in one portable turkey leg! Genius!