This week we have a unique destination for the 38th week of our 13 month chicken tour, we’re going to Expo Gardens to the Appreciation Party for the Heart of Illinois Fair.
This is the 70th year for the Heart of Illinois Fair and it starts today and runs through this Sunday.
The party and dinner last night was for people who volunteer for the fair and somehow I always get invited, which I appreciate! I had heard that there was going to be fried chicken, so this fits in perfect with our weekly chicken tour.
So let’s go back in time to last night and get the cluck over to the Heart of Illinois Fair’s Appreciation Party!
Here we are at Expo Gardens. I think this is a new sign, but sadly the Puppet Show still gets top billing over MBIP. A Spinal Tap moment of defeat for sure!
The dinner is in the Beer Pavillion inside Expo Gardens.
Check out the swag: HOI beer doozies, pens and pads!
Of course the first stop is the bar and check out the bargain prices, draft beer is just two bucks and cans and bottles are only three dollars! Happy Hour prices all the time here at the fair!
There I am with my friend Roxy Baker, who’s a Fair Director and she’s also the co-host of the WWCT Rik & Roxie in the Morning show. You can’t see it in the picture, but I’m wearing an official Roxy Baker name tag!
Now let’s go say hi to more of the smiling faces here at the HOI Appreciation Dinner!
Hello smiling faces! Thanks to everyone who posed for the MBIP Camera, wonderful to see all of you!
I’d list everyone’s name, but I really don’t want to work that hard.
Before dinner, Erica Abenroth, the President of the Expo/Fair Board gave a nice talk about the fair and thanked all of the workers and volunteers for their service. And then…
Dinner time! I got in line and prayed there was chicken ahead, or I’d have to improvise! I started to get scared because so far, no chicken! But all of a sudden…
A whole pile of fried chicken and I took one of the items next to it to turn my meal into a tribute to one of my favorite snack crackers…
The fried chicken was delicious! Weaver Ridge supplied all of the food and the chicken was crunchy on the outside and juicy and flavorful inside. And the biscuit was light, fluffy and wonderful!
Speaking of chickens, I was eating dinner with Bobby Spears and his daughters and one of them showed me chickens from their chicken farm! I never knew that Bobby Spears was a chicken farmer and this was the highlight of my evening!
After dinner I wandered around the grounds and watched as they were setting up the fair for this week. Looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun as always and I love that they have an entire table dedicated to condiments!
Terry Grawey take note: Ranch is predominately displayed!
The animals are all here for the Petting Zoo. I was ignored by the horses, but check out this guy who posed for the MBIP Camera! What a nice fellow!
I wandered over to the Opera House and met these two ladies. That’s Haley Eberling on the right with her mom on the left. There’s something new happening here at the 70th Heart of Illinois Fair and that’s a Fair Queen Pageant.
Haley is the Pageant Director and she’s also the the 2009 Queen of the Menard County Fair, so she knows what she’s doing!
Meanwhile, back at the HOI Beer Pavillion, it appears that Bobby Spears and his daughters have taken over the bar and renamed it, “Jimmy’s North!”
I’m happy for them with their new venture, but I’m also worried about their chickens! I hope they still have enough time to take proper care of their fowl pets!
Thanks to everyone at the Heart of Illinois Fair for a fun Appreciation Dinner and evening!
The fair starts today and will run through this Sunday. Click here for all the information on their website.
Four Dixie Chickens—The fried chicken from Weaver Ridge was delicious and I need to stop out there for the tour, so stay tuned for that!
1601 W. Northmoor Road
Related Posts: 13 Months of Chicken @: Tannins & Hops, Venezia Italian Bistro, Schooners, W.E. Sullivan’s Irish Pub & Fare, Double A’s, Tavern on Prospect, Jack’s Cafe And Jonnie’s Bar, Peoria Wingfest, KFC, Donnelly’s Irish Pub, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The ‘50’s Diner, Obed & Isaacs, Childers Eatery, Gil’s Supper Club, Highlands Fine Food & Whiskey House, EatandEvolve, Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern, Slim Chickens, Destihl Brewery, Chili’s, Shelton’s, Sky Harbor Steak House, McDonald’s/Chik-fil-A, Bernardi’s Pub, Harold’s Chicken Shack, Lariat Steakhouse, Donnelly’s Irish Pub, Thanh Linh, Grandpa John’s Rib Shack, Birdie’s Bar & Grill, Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill, Midway Duck Inn, Ludy’s Kickapoo Creek Saloon, Jubilee Cafe, Rizzi’s and Agatucci’s.