Friday Nights Under the Lights in Downtown Gibson City

One of the sights from last month's Friday Nights Under the Lights in Downtown Gibson City — a monthly car cruise. This month's cruise will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

The Fisher Free Book Exchange is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. The exchange includes reading material as well as rummage tables. A tip jar is available to help keep the doors open. It is open to the public, and there are no cards to buy or fees to pay. For more information, people can call 217-897-6544.

Cheney’s Grove Township Library in Saybrook is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2 to 5 p.m. each Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday.

The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum is open each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The museum, which specializes in Ford County history, is located at 135 S. Market St. behind Paxton City Hall. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information or to schedule visits at other times, people can call 217-379-4111 or 217-722-2227.

Loda Township Library board meetings will be held at 5 p.m. in the library’s main reading room on Sept. 16 and Nov. 18 in 2019 and on Jan. 21 and March 16 in 2020. For more information, people can call the library at 386-2783.

The PBL Area Community Food Pantry is open from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays at 785 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton. The food pantry serves residents of the Paxton, Buckley and Loda communities.

A potluck dinner for persons over age 55 is held on the fourth Thursday of each month through October in Gibson City. It is held in the Senior Center at the South Park. Chicken and a cold drink are provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and their own dinnerware.

The Paxton Carnegie Library’s board of trustees will meet at the library at 7 p.m. Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each Monday at the United Methodist Church, 219 S. Margaret St., Piper City.  Visitors are always welcome to attend — including preteens, teens and adults, both male and female. Their first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit, weight-loss support and wellness education organization with thousands of associate chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Members learn about nutrition, portion control, food planning, exercise, motivation and more at the weekly meetings.   For details, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit www.tops.org or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets from 9 to 11 a.m. on the third Friday of each month at the Paxton Church of the Nazarene, 302 W. State St., Paxton. Each meeting includes breakfast, crafts and discussion on relevant topics, with childcare provided. The group is open to mothers of all experience levels. Annual dues cost $31.95. To register, people can visit www.mops.org and type in code “KSIZ.” For more information, people can contact Julie Foster at 618-304-4092.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the First Lutheran Church, located at 301 S. College St. in Paxton. The public is welcome to come and visit; the first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit weight-loss support, education and wellness organization. For details, people can call Virginia Lafray at 815-668-1728 or visit www.tops.org.

Fisher Odd Fellows Lodge No. 704 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Odd Fellow Hall, located at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. Oddfellowship is a service organization dedicated to the betterment of mankind. Anyone interested in membership information may call 217-897-6544 or stop in at the Free Book Exchange, where pamphlets are available.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6:15 p.m. on Thursdays at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 107 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., followed by worship from 6:45 to 7 p.m., a lesson from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-784-8673.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6 p.m. on Mondays at The Upper Room Bible Church, 455 W. Orleans St., Paxton. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by worship from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m., a lesson from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-379-4189.

Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, meets  on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St., Paxton.

JoDee Messina with special guest Kelsey Hickman will be performing in concert at the Fairbury Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 14. General admission costs $20, with stagefront VIP zone admission costing $30. Tickets are available at www.thefairburyfair.com.

Friday Nights Under the Lights in Downtown Gibson City — a monthly car cruise — will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16. Organizers are encouraging residents of Gibson City and elsewhere to participate by cruising Sangamon Avenue downtown, or simply parking their vehicles there and showing them off while visiting with friends and neighbors. The city holds the cruise events on the third Friday of each month from May through September. During this month’s cruise, there will be live music performed downtown by Dan Kearfott and his musical friends; the Gibson City American Legion  post will be cooking on a grill and serving beer outside; the Ed Day Skatepark Committee will have Queen of Hearts raffle tickets for sale; the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office’s Unclaimed Property Division will be available to see if residents have money owed to them; GoinPlaces Catering will be selling butterflied pork chop sandwiches, chips and water for $5; the Bayern Stube restaurant will be serving $4 bratwurst and $4 Koenig pilsners, and will hold a drawing for a $50 gift certificate; Crowridge Farm Ice Cream will be serving ice cream; Stone Cold Shaved Ice is expected to be open; and the fizz soda counter at Black & White Confections will be open, with $1 buying any size or any flavor of fountain soda and iced tea.

The movie “How to Train Your Dragon 3” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are asked to bring a blanket or rug on which to sit.

Logan Kirby will be singing his favorite 1950s and 1960s songs,  plus his favorite Elvis songs, during the Bellflower Country Opry’s next country music show, scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Bellflower Community Center. Tickets cost $10, with children ages 12 and under entering for free. Prior to the show, starting at 5 p.m., a chicken and noodles supper will be available for a cost of $6. To make reservations for the show, people can call Marcia at 217-898-7493 or Merle  at 217-417-5535.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Melvin Men’s Christian Fellowship. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Corn Belt Shrine Club’s Kids Day will be from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in the North Park in Gibson City, featuring hot dogs, go-kart rides, cotton candy, face painting, a cake walk and more. Everything is 25 cents. The event will be preceded by a parade at 11:30 a.m. on Sangamon Avenue, which will end at the park.

The Ladies Aid society of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley will sponsor an ice cream social from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in the lunchroom of St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley. Hot beef and ham-and-cheese sandwiches will be served, as well as pie, cake and ice cream.

The Gibson City Seniors’ next potluck dinner will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Senior Citizens Building at 215 E. 3rd St. in Gibson City. Meat and a cold drink are provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and their own table service. A program is planned. The Sept. 26 potluck dinner will be a catered dinner at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church’s parish hall.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s annual Pork Chop Kickoff is set for Friday, Aug. 23, at the high school.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Girl Scouts. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

Elvis tribute artist Doug Church, with the Change of Habit tribute band, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Lorraine Theatre, 324 E. Main St., Hoopeston. Tickets cost $28 if purchased in advance or $30 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at thelorrainetheatre.com, at Mr. B’s, Treasured Roots, Hoopeston City Hall or Hoopeston DACC, or by contacting a Save the Lorraine Theatre board member. Prior to the show, from 5 to 7 p.m., the United Methodist Church at 403 E. Main St. across the street from the theater will serve a dinner featuring a chicken salad sandwich, veggies and dip, chips, peanut butter cookies, vanilla ice cream, lemonade and iced tea for free-will donations benefitting the Save the Lorraine Foundation.

The Ford-Iroquois Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Monical’s Pizza, 500 W. Ottawa Road, Paxton. The meeting will feature a pizza buffet for those attending. Special guests will be state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, and state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington. Those attending are encouraged to address their questions and concerns with them. Members who have questions or concerns but are unable to attend the meeting are encouraged to contact Sandy Rudin at 815-222-1669 or send an email to sandyrudin@yahoo.com and leave their questions or concerns with her. Rudin will then compile those questions and concerns so they can be addressed by the guest speakers. As the group accepts new members, anyone interested in the group is encouraged to attend. Each month, those who attend are asked to bring school supplies, which are donated to an area school. This month’s supplies will be donated to Crescent City Grade School.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Rainbow Girls. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

Gibson City’s townwide fall garage sales will be Thursday, Sept. 5, through Saturday, Sept. 7. To have a sale included on a flyer to be distrubted at local businesses and online, residents are asked to send a message to the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce by Aug. 31 and include their last name, address, dates/times of the sale and a brief description of sale items.

The Loda Illinois Team Hope Walk, hosted by the Great Lakes Region of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, at Lakeview Country Club, 147 E. Iroquois County Road 200 North, Loda. The Loda Illinois Team Hope Walk is a fundraising event that consists of the community walking together to support the HDSA’s fight to improve the lives of people affected with Huntington’s disease as well as their families. All donations go toward the HDSA. Check-in for the Sept. 7 event begins at 7 a.m., with the walk running from 8 to 11 a.m. To register in advance, people can visit www.hdsa.org/thwloda. For more information, people can contact Samantha Cox at 217-249-1421 or sjmccoy85@yahoo.com.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the First Lutheran Church in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Barn Keepers of McLean County’s 14th annual Barn Tour is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14, in and around the town of Lexington and the surrounding area. The self-guided tour will feature 11 sites, including 12 barns, the Patton Cabin, Lexington’s “Miracle Mile,”  Anvil Brand Shoe Co., The Fort and other places of interest. Children may enjoy the cattle, horses, peacocks and goats on display.                                                                                                                 The welcome center for the event will be the Church of Christ Uniting, 108 N. Pine St., Lexington. There, people can buy tickets and pick up the history tour booklet which has the map of the tour. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the tour, and the tour will run until 4 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per carload and $15 for Barn Keepers members. Extra booklets will be available for $5. The  Barn Keepers board will be serving coffee and doughnuts in the morning and a “Barn Tour Special” will be served at Kelly’s on 66 beginning at 11 a.m.                                                                                                                              For more information, people can visit www.barnkeepers.org or call 309-475-6951.              

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Accolade Healthcare. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The eighth annual Paxton Swine ‘N Dine BBQ Contest & Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, in downtown Paxton. The all-day event features a free concert headlined by Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann. Opening for Niemann on a stage set up in front of City Hall will be fellow country musician Johnny McGuire starting at 7 p.m. While general admission to the concert is free, party-pit passes can be purchased for $25 at paxtonchamber.com. The festival also features a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, a car show/cruise-in, a cornhole tournament, children’s activities and, of course, the barbecue cookoff that will award cash prizes. Barbecue cookoff entry forms are available at paxtonchamber.com. Festival-goers age 21 and older who obtain the required wrist band for a fee will again be permitted to drink alcohol on Market Street during the festival. There will be a number of beer vendors on hand.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Forrest Wabash Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Attendees can tour the Depot, the Hampsher Hotel and Jerry’s Hat Museum. The festival also features street vendors, live entertainment, kiddie amusements, a car/truck/semi cruise-in and an antique tractor show.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in its parking lot to help raise funds for a church camp. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Boy Scouts Troop No. 32 in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Lake Iroquois Association Women’s Club. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the GAB Women’s Group. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Toys for Tots program. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Gibson City Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Missions R Us. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.