Live, from Peoria, Illinois it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, The Heart of Illinois Fair with special guests, assorted fair vendors, Aaron, Marty and featuring The Ready for Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher! Now please welcome this week’s host, The Heart of Illinois Fair!
I have mixed emotions about this sign. I love that MBIP gets mentioned, but it’s a bittersweet Spinal Tap moment as well!
There’s the iconic Expo Gardens signage, let’s go in and begin our Saturday Night at the Heart of Illinois Fair!
I have a schedule I follow when I come to the fair. And first on the agenda is to get a corn dog. It’s something you have to do when you come to the fair, so I thought I’d get it out of the way at the top of the evening. I applied a decent amount of mustard and it was delicious! Corn dogs at the fair always taste the best!
There’s the Midway where the next two things on our schedule are located.
There’s lots of games here at the fair and many of them involve balloons and fish.
You can’t have a fair without rides on the Midway and there’s plenty of them here this year. That bear ride kind of freaks me out, I don’t know why! There’s all kinds of rides that spin, swing and go round and round. There’s race cars but in the end I kept returning to the bear ride. There’s just something about those giant bears that creep me out. Okay, enough of this, it’s time for our Saturday Night dinner!
Saturday Night Dinner at the Fair!
There’s always a good selection of food to eat at the fair. It ranges from hot dogs to funnel cakes to Philly Cheesesteaks to Pizza and everything in between. I toured around the food vendors and decided that this year’s Heart of Illinois Fair Saturday Night dinner would be...
A sirloin tip steak dinner from this vendor over here.
The meat is grilled over here and then it comes with fresh mushrooms and grilled onions. Here’s this fellow serving up my order.
I chose the Operating Engineers 649 bench to eat my dinner at. The steak was grilled and then cooked in a pan with butter and it’s really tender and delicious! The mushrooms and onions are a nice compliment to the meat and it was a tasty treat here at the fair. Now it’s time for dessert! And we’ll have that dessert at...
The Beer Garden
The Beer Garden is something that never changes here at the Heart of Illinois Fair.
They have a quintet of beers on tap and that's Katie Schmitt Boyer with a 16 ounce can of Miller Lite. In addition to beer, there’s also free entertainment in here every night.
This DJ is one of the musical acts of the evening and as you can see from the pictures, he’s really got the crowd moving!
The Opera House
There’s nothing going on at the Opera House now as the night is coming to a close here at the fair, but I had to take a picture of it because it’s a legendary and historic building here at Expo Gardens. Back in the ‘60’s lots of bands played here including The Yardbirds, The Buckinghams, The Kinks and The Who. Check out this clip of The Who smashing their instruments at a show here in 1968. The Opera House is shown at 1:21 into the video.
As I was getting ready to leave the fair I stumbled upon this sign, “Marty’s Concessions.” The arrow points towards the Expo Gardens building and I just had to go inside and check this out!
There’s the concession stand and that’s Aaron behind the counter. Aaron is the head chef here and he’s going to be taking it over soon. He also told me he’s a big fan of MBIP and reads it every day and we all know I love to hear that! His dad is the current and founding owner and yes, his name is Marty and Aaron’s son said he’d take a photo of the two of us, so I now present...
A Tale of Two Marty’s at the Heart of Illinois Fair!
Down To Earth Bellydance Presents Women’s Strength!
There’s a cool show coming up at one of my favorite buildings, The GAR Hall! On Saturday, August 5th, Down To Earth Bellydance Presents Women’s Strength. This is going to be a fun evening featuring local vendors, raffles, hors d’oeuvres and an entertaining bellydancing show. The doors open at 5PM and the show starts at 6PM. The cost is just 10 dollars and all proceeds go to the Center for Prevention of Abuse.